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Make a Splash!

A Kid’s Guide to Protecting Our Oceans, Lakes, Rivers & Wetlands


This elementary-level counterpart to the award-winning Going Blue teaches elementary kids about the earth’s water crisis and empowers them to do something about it.

Filled with facts about our waters, their inhabitants, and the threats they face, Make a Splash! presents inspiring stories of kids in action and service projects for kids to help them make a difference. In fun and age-appropriate language, kids are introduced to service learning ideas. Service learning groups, youth groups, science teachers, and teachers of conservation and environmentalism units will find this book to be a valuable resource. Also included are book and Web resources and a glossary.

Part of Self-Help for Kids®
Free Spirit is the leading publisher of learning tools that support children’s social-emotional health.
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Paperback $13.99 24170 Paperback 24170 $13.99
ISBN: 978-1-57542-417-0
Reading Level: Grade 4
Interest Level: Ages 8–12
Guided Reading Level: S
Lexile Measure: 780L
Illustrated: color illust. & photos
Trim Size: 8" x 8"
Page Count: 128

Praise for Make a Splash!
“Empowers children . . . [and] shows them . . . that they are part of the solution, that they can do something meaningful to make our planet healthier.”—Through the Looking Glass Children’s Book Review

“A comprehensive, entertaining primer that focuses equally on water conservation and on how children learn and can act on their knowledge and interests. Former teacher Kaye provides a multitude of conservation approaches, including a series of ‘Kids in Action’ profiles that will encourage young readers to tackle and accomplish valuable community service projects.”—Foreword Reviews

“Infuses every chapter with inspiration and gives dozens of examples in which kids are agents of change in their communities. Creating an energizing, upbeat tone, the writers don’t plead for help; they ask, ‘Which kind of action will you choose?’”—Booklist

“Jam-packed with readily accessible information and ideas, this is an engaging addition to science and environmental collections.”—School Library Journal

“This would be a good book to learn about water, or it would be really good if you had to do a report about water.”—Hannah, age 6, San Francisco Book Review

Make a Splash! makes important water issues interesting to learn about—it’s good to the last drop!”—Milo Cress, age 11, founder of Be Straw Free

“The first time a child sees an ocean or a great river, magic happens. Make a Splash! reaches for the hearts of all young people who love wild water, and who want to do something to keep it pure and everlasting.”—Carl Hiaasen, author of Chomp

“Fun and motivational! Kids will love learning about our important, fragile, and challenged water planet. Make a Splash! will inspire them to do what they can to protect, restore, and advocate for all natural systems that support life.”—Laura Turner Seydel, Captain Planet Foundation

Make a Splash! provides valuable information about threats to our waters and, more importantly, it gives concrete and inspiring examples of how kids have made—and can make—a real difference. It’s a book that I suggest to all who are concerned about our oceans and waterways.”—Jason Chin, author and illustrator of Coral Reefs and Island: A Story of the Galápagos

“Kids who read this book will find themselves captivated by the world of water and primed to do their part in protecting it.”—Eileen Spinelli, author of over 40 children’s books, including Miss Fox’s Class Goes Green

Make a Splash! clearly illustrates how various water issues affect people, animals, and the environment while providing young people practical ways to improve their local water sources. Full of great stories, facts, and tools, Make a Splash! is an excellent resource to help youth plan water-focused service learning adventures in their own backyards.”—Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, a program of the Jane Goodall Institute

“Earth to kids . . . Hey kids, we need you! Grown-ups? They’re not paying enough attention to some of the things that will matter to you, like nature and the ocean. So, you’re gonna need to learn to do some things yourself. And the people who wrote this book—they really know their stuff. And they really care about you! I am pretty sure you’ll like this book!”—Carl Safina, author of The View from Lazy Point and founding president of the Blue Ocean Institute

“Puts kids in the driver’s seat and allows them to explore a newfound motivation to protect the largest masses of substance on this planet, our waterways. Kaye’s continuous service and expertise combines with Cousteau’s clear passion for the environment to inspire kids to take action and care for the planet’s water. Books like Make a Splash! give me hope that younger generations will have the knowledge, skills, and drive to help us live in a cleaner, greener world!”—Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle

“An inspiring and kid-friendly introduction to the challenges facing our oceans and waterways, Make a Splash! gives kids all the tools they need to become champions for the environment and really make a difference. A great resource for anyone who wants to protect our waters—and have fun doing it.”—Greg MacGillivray, IMAX producer/director for MacGillivray Freeman Films and founder of One World One Ocean

“A spirited rallying cry on behalf of the world’s water. Cathryn Berger Kaye’s confidence in the power of kids to turn what they learn into tools for action is a perfect complement to the enthusiasm and curiosity of Philippe Cousteau, a passionate environmentalist and the grandson of the famous late-oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. Together, the authors conduct a bright and lively tour that reveals the beauty, interconnectedness, and vital importance of the wet stuff that covers three-quarters of our planet and makes up three-quarters of our bodies.”—Peter Christie, science writer and author of 50 Climate Questions: A Blizzard of Blistering Facts

Lead participants as they do the service projects in Make a Splash!

  • Common Core State Standards


Related Resources

Jayden’s Impossible Garden: timeless story about community and connection
Protecting the Planet: A picture book about the effects of littering, pollution, and global warming.
Culture and Diversity: A picture book about understanding cultural diversity and practicing empathy.
Living on the Veg
Go Green
A Leader’s Guide to Make a Splash!
A Leader's Guide to Going Blue

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