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The Art Project by Elizabeth Kirkby-McLeod


It’s another edition of the fantastic children’s series Eugene’s Island - the story of a young lad (Eugene) and his family’s shift to a conservation island where they can help protect some of the most important New Zealand flora and fauna.


In this latest addition to the adventures on the island, there is an expectation for Eugene to create an art project as part of his school work through correspondence. The only catch is that it must be created from otherwise thrown away material - like milk bottles and jam jars. However, everything that may be used for such an art project is already repurposed with great enthusiasm by Eugene’s family.


As luck would have it (or not have it as the case may be) a container ship has lost its cargo and hundreds of pairs of shoes end up washing up on the beaches of the island and the mainland. What better way to both show the importance of conservation and create a beautiful art work than to use these shoes in the project!


Eugene’s art creation ends up being noticed by some journalists on the mainland who just have to come and have a look.


Like the others in the series, The Art Project really captivates young readers while giving really important lessons on recycling, reusing and respecting the environment.


Reviewer: Chris Reed

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