Coco and Dean
by Emily Scofield

Price at time of review: $12.99
36 pp.
Warren Publishing
Charlotte, NC
ISBN: 9781943258994

Grade Level: K-5

Reviewed by Alexandra D. Owens

Do you want to inspire your students to make a difference in the environment? Composed of three short stories, Coco and Dean: Explorers of the World by Emily Scofield, informs students of common environmental issues through relatable characters and experiences. Students will be left feeling empowered to make small changes in their lives in order to make big changes in the world.

The book features environmental topics that young K– 5 students are exposed to, but may not be aware of how to change. For example, where does our garbage go? Coco and Dean explore their ecological footprint, waste, and litter while discovering how to be environmentally responsible. Key vocabulary is addressed along the way and is also included in a glossary. Each story ends with a set of comprehension questions, discussion prompts, and an online resource or activity to explore more about the topic. This allows teachers to take the topics addressed in the story one step further with classroom dialogue and potential projects. Don’t be surprised if your students want to share this message with your community, just as Coco did in the story!

In the classroom, this book could be used in a variety of ways. As a class, this could be read aloud as stand alone stories in any environmental unit. It provides an engaging hook or personal connection to what can otherwise be difficult concepts to grasp. As part of a classroom library, the student could also read this book individually or in small groups to encourage discussion. The relatable and informative nature of this book makes this a great addition to the elementary science classroom. The topics are current, and the story line presents them on a level that students can understand and be a part of. Your students will be left knowing that they don’t have to be an adult to make big changes in the world.

Review posted on 9/10/2015

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