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One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the…

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia

by Miranda Paul

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This is the story of Isatou Ceesay and her fight to clean up the plastic bags that were littering her village and killing animals. She and her friends cleaned the bags and repurpose them into purses which they sold at market. My students were encouraged to think of other ways that the bags could be used. The illustrations portrayed the time line of the story. ( )
  Pfefferk | Apr 23, 2017 |
This books tells the story of one woman's efforts to recycle plastic bags and the impact it has on her town and its people. Isatou Ceesay grows up in Njau, Gambia and becomes aware of the impact that plastic bags have on her small village. These bags litter the streets, cause goats to get sick from eating them, and they are home to mosquitos that cause malaria.

As an adult, Isatou and her friends begin to wash the bags, cut them into strips, and crochet them into purses. At first they do this in hiding because others would mock them. Later, Isatou and her friends take these purses to market and sell them. This helps to clean the streets of her village and provide her with money from the sale of her wares.

Through the author's note and the timeline provided at the end of the book we learn more about Isatou and her work with the Peace Corps and the Njau Recycling and Income Generating Group. This is a wonderfully empowering tale for women. ( )
  hlevy | Apr 14, 2017 |
There are a few reasons that I like this book. I liked the plot of the book and the order of events that occurred. For example, the village was new to plastic and did not know the effects that it would have on their village. As the plastic bags piled up and did not decompose the village became overwhelmed with them and needed to solve the problem. The stories plot is a good way to show kids that they need to reuse items or not be wasteful so that the world and their homes do not become overfilled with trash. Another part of the story I enjoyed was the illustrations to show one bag, turn to two and then so on. The illustrations powerfully showed the impact that trash had on the community, and then the joy the people of the village had after reusing the bags to make purses. ( )
  ccox16 | Sep 28, 2016 |
6. This was a good book to read as it seemed to really have a sense of purpose but also really got to the point quickly. I think that it could have done a better job within the story of telling the reader about the setting, however, the illustrations and the back matter of the book filled in pretty much everything one would need to know.
7. The curricular connections this book could be useful for might be with social studies and discussing Africa or with science when discussing recycling. ( )
  jmouat | Apr 10, 2016 |
A colorful, story book presentation of the practical actions of a few African women that turned into a movement toward the general improvement of their physical environment. Recycling as a part of the way forward, conveyed through individual, simple steps. ( )
  strawberrycreekmtg | Feb 17, 2016 |
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Plastic bags are cheap and easy to use. But what happens when a bag breaks or is no longer needed? In Njau, Gambia, people simply dropped the bags and went on their way. One plastic bag became two. Then ten. Then a hundred.

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