Emma Shevah has written the perfect book for eco-aware young readers as it combines positive action, humour, and plenty of animal facts with mystery, adventure, and a large dose of the author’s own passion for the animal world. The two central characters, Ivy and Nathaniel, spring vividly to life and complement each other’s skills and traits so completely that they form the ideal team, although it takes the two of them the whole book to realise this fact.
The narrative is first person with chapters that alternate between Ivy and Nathaniel in a very amusing way. Lively, high-spirited Ivy lives with her foster parents on the Suffolk coast and uses her ability to communicate with animals to try and help them wherever possible. Nathaniel, who has moved to live with his mother after the death of his beloved grandmother, has Asperger’s Syndrome and finds it hard to adapt to change and copes with difficult social situations by communicating abstruse animal facts. Both children, in their different ways, have a passion for saving the natural world and when the wondrous ‘impossible possible’ happens and a giant leatherback turtle lays her eggs on their beach the pair unite to protect the baby turtles. This mission to make a difference leads to Ivy’s dream of an Animal Action Agency being realised.
This funny, heart-warming story, full of quirky and appealing characters, both animal and human, is a must read for all children with a passion for the planet and its creatures. Conservation and eco themes combine with humour, a celebration of diversity, fascinating facts, and top tips on protecting the environment to produce an inspiring book.