This story gently introduces young readers to the damage that trawling and plastic waste have on sea life. Ruth Pearl’s sea characters are just trying to have fun, but constantly encounter dangerous situations, such as an octopus getting stuck inside a plastic bottle. Hector comes up with an ingenious, if temporary solution to clean up the ocean.
The illustrations are energetic and colourful and the characters faces are attractive and expressive. The text is crafted, with vocabulary and language features used to great effect. Alliteration “they tossed and turned, dipped and dunked”; onomatopoeia: “Octopus practised his slinky escape moves” and repetition are used rather than rhyme to create compelling sound patterns. Young readers will have their vocabulary extended by the way, the author weaves synonyms into the story.
The issues raised by Ruth Paul in this book are important ones and she adds to the value of this book as a resource in the junior classroom, by including an end page with suggestions about what we could all do to preserve our marine environment.
Title: Little Hector and the Big Idea
Author and Illustrator: Ruth Paul
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Date of Publication: September 2019
Age Range: Junior
Reviewer: Carola Crawford, English teacher, Karanga Mai Young Parents’ College
How highly are you recommending this book: Highly recommended
Opening sentence: Little Hector was a small and playful dolphin.
You can buy this book here
Ruth Paul is available to visit schools through the Writers in Schools programme