Scrap Metal Swan: A River Clean-Up Story

Scrap Metal Swan: A River Clean-Up Story
Co-Authors / Illustrators
  • Estrellita Caracol
Publisher Name
Barefoot Books
Age Range
Release Date
May 16, 2022
When community members work together with trucks and ships to clean up the town's riverfront, an artist and her child hammer, chisel, weld and zap the found materials into something beautiful. Young makers will find inspiration in the playful, rhyming text and mixed media illustrations, while endnotes provide recycled-art activity ideas.

Editor review

1 review
clever picture book about pollution and art
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
SCRAP METAL SWAN is a delightfully rhyming picture book about river pollution and art. The river is full of trash, so the community comes together to clean it up. They then use the trash to create sculptures that will stand by the river. The backmatter includes information on pollution and the real swan statue in Wisconsin, kinds of artists, and some idea for crafts.

What I loved: This is a really charming story told in rhyme that rolls smoothly off the tongue and brings it to life in a way that will appeal to toddlers and preschoolers. The themes of the story are presented really well around the problems with pollution and the need for people to take action and help to clean it up, as well as the cool elements of recycled art. The backmatter really adds to these lessons with ways for caregivers or teachers to turn this into a bigger lesson around pollution, art, and some crafts children can participate in.

The artwork is really cool with a varied texture and scrap art design that suits the themes perfectly. The main characters in the little girl and her caregiver who are working on the art, and they are really fantastically brought to life throughout the story amidst the detailed images. The bold font helps with readability throughout and short phrasing with quickly turning pages is great for young readers.

Final verdict: SCRAP METAL SWAN is a clever picture book with some great themes around pollution and art.
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