Tortuga Squad: Kids Saving Sea Turtles in Costa Rice is a photodocumentary book by journalist and writer Cathleen Burnham the second in her WAKA (World Association of Kids and Animals) series of books for young readers that feature kids around the world involved in wild animal rescue and conservation projects.
In Tortuga Squad we meet a group of youngsters in Costa Rica who patrol the beaches of Parismina Island on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica to help protect mother sea turtles and their eggs from poachers and animal predators. The young volunteers watch for sea turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs.
It's a dangerous place for turtles. Here as in many places in the Caribbean the local villagers have traditionally eaten turtle meat and eggs as part of their diet. But many turtle species have become close to extinction. Poaching eggs and killing sea turtles for meat is now illegal. But some people still do it.
So the turtles need extra help. This is where the kids come in. Tortuga means turtle in Spanish and Tortuga Squad is the name the kids gave themselves because they help save turtles. They patrol the beach during hatching season and have helped to build a guarded hatchery to protect eggs until they hatch. Then the kids gather to help escort the tiny baby turtles across the sands to the ocean waters.
Cathleen Burnham visited the island with her husband and her own children as volunteers to help the local conservation program. With the local village kids she put together this story of the activities of the Tortuga Squad an inspiring example of real-life children around the globe active in grassroots projects to save Earth's endangered wild animals.
There is a free teacher's guide available at the WAKA series website: www.WAKABooks.org.
Cathleen Burnham is an experienced travel and wildlife photojournalist who has done assignments across the globe from Africa to Southeast Asia from South and Central America to Europe. She is author of the WAKA series of books (World Association of Kids and Animals) profiling real kids around the world who are actively engaged in local wildlife conservation on a community-based level working to save wild animals and protect natural habitats.
"Gr 2-5-An exploration of the Tortuga Squad a group of poor Costa Rican children struggling to save endangered sea turtles that lay their eggs along the sandy coast. The children guide the hatchlings to the sea and have even enlisted one of their grandfathers a former poacher to stand guard at a hatchery they built. Bright photos depict the children in action the turtles and other animals and the surroundings.The spreads also include attractively arranged maps and drawings and deftly inserted facts about turtles as well as the dangers they experience in the ocean. The simple dialogue-heavy text enhances the appeal. Burnham has written other books about compassionate efforts by children such as Doyli to the Rescue: Saving Baby Monkeys in the Amazon (Crickhollow 2015) that inspire readers to take positive action. Back matter consists of a motivational message from the author. VERDICT: A wonderful addition to most collections."
- Nancy Call Santa Cruz Public Libraries Aptos CA&alpha(c) Copyright 2011. [Library Journals LLC a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source Inc.]