Earth Day Book Review: One Plastic Bag

22nd of April is Earth Day!

Here’s a great Earth Day book about recycling:

One Plastic Bag is an inspiring Earth Day book for children.

One Plastic Bag

Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of Gambia

written by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

With 88% of our oceans covered by plastic debris, we need to teach our children about the negative effects of plastic and the importance of recycling from an early age – not only on Earth Day but every day.

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One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia is the perfect Earth Day book for creating ecological awareness in children and inspiring them “to be the change.” The colourful picture book tells the true story of Isatou Ceesay, a Gambian woman who became known as the “Queen of Plastic Recycling”.

From a young age, Isatou noticed how carelessly discarded plastic bags were littering her village, killing goats and providing breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitos. Concerned about the ever-growing piles of plastic trash, Isatou – together with five other women – started collecting plastic bags and crocheting them into unique purses.

Despite limited resources and not being taken seriously at first, the women persevered.

Within a decade the project became so successful that it not only helped the environment but also brought economic development and empowerment to the women in Isatou’s community.

One Plastic Bag is an inspirational and eloquently told story, complemented by engaging illustrations full of the textures and colours of Africa.

Includes a Wolof language glossary, a timeline of actual events, and photos.

Suitable for ages 5 to 10.

Awards & Honours: 2016 Amelia Bloomer List, Early Readers–Nonfiction; Junior Library Guild Selection; 2015 EUREKA! Nonfiction Children’s Book Awards

Isatou’s plastic bag purses can be bought through GambiaHELP.

One Plastic Bag Collage

Here are some fun plastic bag recycling activities to do with your kids:

Make “plarn” (plastic yarn) for crocheting

Crochet a wristlet purse

Crochet a place mat

Crochet a water bottle holder

Make a jump rope

Make friendship bracelets


For more children’s books for Earth Day go to:

22 Multicultural Children’s Books for Earth Day

Multicultural Children's Books for Earth Day

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As an adoptive mom of a little African girl I am always searching for children's books that reflect the diversity of our world in an empowering and non-stereotypical way. I have created Colours of Us (, a blog and resource website about multicultural children's books.

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