I Spy Treasure!
New Frontier, 2023
32pp., hbk., RRP $A26.99
Every week, Captain Snarkle Tooth sailed into the harbour of Shimmertown and because of his villainous reputation, the people hid while he stole anything that sparkled. But Billy was a little braver than most and as he watched the pirate from the safety of a tree, he noticed something strange. Captain Snarkle Tooth didn’t find many jewels to take but he did delight in finding shimmering cans, sparkling glass and shiny plastic. Things like broken bikes, old shopping trolleys and rusty pots and pans seemed to bring him joy. And as he rowed his treasure back to his ship, Billy noticed that the ship itself was getting grander and grander…
This is a most original story that is more to do with ‘reduce, reuse. recycle” than nasty pirates, and young readers will start to develop there awareness of the amount of rubbish we generate and what happens to it. As Billy discovers how the captain upcycles his finds, they, too, might like to think of innovative and imaginative ways of repurposing their rubbish – or, at the very least, ensuring it doesn’t end up in the ocean or in landfill.
Primarily written to be shared with younger readers, nevertheless, it could also kickstart a broader investigation of the problem of plastics and so forth being dumped in the seas, the impact of that on the creatures that live there including the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. And for those who still believe that picture books are for little children, they could investigate the purpose and effectiveness of an author sharing their message in this format.