Somebody Swallowed Stanley

Publisher: Scholastic Children’s Books

This thought-provoking picture book charts the eventful journey made by Stanley, a discarded plastic carrier bag, who is swept into the sea. As he drifts through the ocean waves, he is mistaken for a jellyfish and swallowed by a series of unsuspecting animals.

First, an enormous whale scoops him up in her cave-like mouth, then the sharp yellow beak of a seagull pecks and snaps at him, until finally, he is eaten by a turtle with paddle-like flippers and a wrinkly head. As Stanley passes from one animal to the next, he unwittingly endangers their lives, but thankfully a kindly child comes to the rescue and repurposes Stanley so he is no longer a hazard to wildlife.

Written by an animal behaviourist and environmental campaigner, this gentle tale subtly educates children about the damage a simple plastic bag can do to wild animals. It is an ideal springboard for further discussion about protecting the natural world. Lively full-page illustrations accompany the rhythmic, repetitive text, which is perfect to read aloud.

Read Sarah Roberts’ blog on saving the planet for children (and adults)

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