Kyle Torke (author) Barbara Torke (illustrator)
Loving Healing Press (2022)
Reviewed by Leigh Kimberly Zoby for Reader Views (05/2023)
“Beachcombers: A Clementine the Rescue Dog Story” by Kyle Torke is the third book in a series of children’s books featuring a loveable adventurous mutt named Clementine. In this adventure, Clementine, Talis, Coover, and Conrad go to the beach for a day in the sun. The environmentally conscious family believes in work before play and begins to clean up the beach of trash and debris before hitting the waves. Clementine also joins in the cleanup by gathering plastic bottles. While cleaning they learn about the ocean creatures, the beach ecosystem, and recycling. After the cleanup, everyone enjoys spending time building sandcastles and having a picnic. Even Clementine is exhausted from such an event-filled day and crashes asleep in her owner’s arms. Upon arrival back on the farm Clementine and the children take the lessons they learned while on the beach and immediately set out to be good stewards of the land and improve the farm by planting tree seedlings.
Barbara Torke’s beautiful illustrations pair with everyday activities to teach younger generations to do something about the state of their surroundings by being givers rather than takers. This technique makes the story come to life in the minds of young children as they learn about different ecosystems, landmarks, and sustainability. The story is written from the family teacher’s perspective. The best lessons are always learned through experience. Torke uses creative dream sequences to bring a sense of ocean life into the story. Clementine is a constant in the story and a strong member of the family which also promotes rescue dogs making excellent pets. The simplicity of the story makes “Beachcombers” a storybook for parents to read to their small children to introduce them to the numerous teachable moments about the world around them. As a homeschooling family, I would use this series as an introductory guide for kindergarten-age children to 3rd-grade level to gain interest in the environment and our responsibility to keep our world healthy. I look forward to reading more of Clementine’s adventures in the near future.
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