In Little Hector and the Big Idea, the playful little dolphin’s games keep getting spoilt. When he is playing in the bay with his bottlenose cousins, a fishing net comes towards them and they have to make a hasty escape. The ball he is tossing around with Seal and Stingray turns out to be made of plastic bags and starts to unravel. When he decides to make his own fun and puts a plastic bottle over his nose pretending to be a bottlenose dolphin it makes his Mum very angry because it is just not safe, and she tells him to take it off.
Little Hector realises that fishing nets and plastic rubbish are dangerous, and they are harming his friends. He would love to make their bay safe again, but he feels he is too little to help. ‘Not so,’ says his father and encourages him to think big.
And Hector does come up with a brilliant way of working together with his friends to fill the fishing net with plastic trash.
‘Holy Mackerel’ cry the fisherman when, instead of fish, they haul in the biggest pile of rubbish they have ever seen. And after that, they stay away. Rubbish is still a problem, but Hector and his friends get together to have regular beach clean-ups and sometimes people help too.
I invited Coby my four-year-old neighbour over to share Little Hector and the Big Idea. His eyes lit up when he saw the cover as I had read him a previous Little Hector adventure story. He recognised and enjoyed naming all the colourful illustrations of different sea creatures and listened attentively. I did have to stop briefly to explain exactly just how a whirl works which momentarily slowed us down.
All of us need to help to reduce the amount of plastic waste which is so damaging for sea creatures because they can eat it and get stuck in it.
Could Coby help too? At the back of the book, there is a list of ideas which families can do together like joining in a beach clean-up or even help organise one and making your school lunch plastic-wrapper free.
He belongs to a very environmentally aware family so I am sure they will be able to tick off all the suggested tasks soon.
Title: Little Hector and the Big Idea. Author: Ruth Paul. Imprint Picture Puffin, RRP $18.99
Reviews by Lyn Potter
Parent and grandparent, Avid traveller, writer & passionate home cook