Better Than New / Mejor Que Nuevo

A Recycle Tale / Un cuenta de reciclaje

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Pub Date 24 May 2022 | Archive Date 01 Dec 2022

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Presented in English and Spanish, Better than New follows two Chilean children who encounter a sea lion tangled in an abandoned fishing net. Together they free their ocean friend and consider what to do with the net. With the help of a bird, they recycle it into something useful again, something better than new. The story opens young readers’ eyes to the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean and challenges them to help the planet by making good choices and taking action.

This is Patagonia's first children's picture book. Please see the Press Release for more background on this title. 

Presented in English and Spanish, Better than New follows two Chilean children who encounter a sea lion tangled in an abandoned fishing net. Together they free their ocean friend and consider what to...

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EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781952338038
PRICE $18.95 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

Thank you NetGalley and Patagonia for giving me the opportunity to read an e-Arc copy of this unique and interesting book.

My obsession with the ocean and environmental conservation brought me to wanting to request for this book. Besides the bilingual format of English and Spanish languages as i loved learning languages and Spanish is one of the foreign languages that i loved to learn and wish to be fluent someday. I am glad that i got all of those things from this book. Besides,it is an easy to follow story with beautiful and brightly coloured visuals that accompany the story.

I believe this story is an advert promoting a cause of recycling, recycling the garbages that polluted the oceans and turn them into something better and useful. Hence, the term "Mejor Con/Que Nuevo" is coined. The thing that confuses me is how the title keeps changing, sometimes it is 'Con' Nuevo, sometimes it is 'Que' Nuevo. So which is which? Which one's the correct one? Que/Con?. As i am neither a Spanish speaker nor is fluent in it, so i find the overlapping usage of those words confusing to me.

The concept of promoting recycling in this book is written in a short and simple story-telling format where two teenage siblings from Chile, Isidora and Julian went to the beach with their parents and heard a plea for help from a sea lion as they were swimming in the sea. It seems that the sea lion and its friends get entangled in a discarded fishing net and needed help with removing those nets from them.

As they dove down into the sea to help release those entangled nets, they saw a lot of garbages including plastics (another major threat to the ocean's wildlifes) at the bottom of the sea. Even though, plastics especially microplastics is one of the major sources of pollutants to the ocean, the focus of this story however is of fishing nets/the ghost nets. Then, they started thinking on what they could do to rid the ocean off the nets? and they finally got the idea of turning those discarded fishing nets into something useful with the help of a bird (which explains the usage of some magical/fantasy elements in the story to make it more appealing to kids i supposed. Coincidentally, the bird also showed them where to recycle those discarded nets.

Overall, i loved the book and would recommend it to anyone who loves and cares about the ocean as much as i do and who would love to learn on how they could do their part in protecting the ocean and making it a better and safer place for everyone! including the marine lives. However,some improvements and adjustments could be made on a few areas though.

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Thank you, Patagonia, for the advance reading copy.

I appreciate the unique presentation. I love the amazing illustrations. The colours and everything else fits perfectly.

However, I feel it will be a bit difficult and confusing for the target audience to actually read and get the information from this book.

I appreciate the usage of two different languages which will help the young readers get familiar with these languages when they are familiar with one and wants to get familiar with the other.

All my heart for the objective of this book. Let's recycle and let's produce less trash whenever possible.

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A very pretty advert, although the moral and cause behind it all do kind of force me to not be too sniffy about getting a corporate message dressed as a book. When a sea lion disrupts the swimming larks of two siblings, they learn of the perils of ghost nets, abandoned and broken-off bits of trawler netting. But lo and behold the answer is not far away, for some people can turn the plastic they're made of into clothing – oh, and so can the publishers. Funny, that. There is a further benefit to this, in that it's bilingual Spanish and English, with the languages swapping over which takes precedence, and a layout that is clearly designed to be bilingual, and not as is quite often the case, where the second language is just overlaid as an afterthought wherever space can be found. So we have a language lesson, a clear and concise environmental message – and a bit of a whitewash, for nobody should read this and think 'job done' in cleaning and protecting the oceans. This kind of makes it sound like it's home and hosed, when it clearly isn't. But in giving an example of the future green economies and technology, this is still laudable.

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An enlightening call to action! This book would make a great addition to a unit about the impact human's have on the environment as well as their responsibility to recycle and make amends for the negative impact.

An added bonus is that the whole book is set in Chile and therefore features bilingual text. This highlights the global importance of the themes of recycling and functions as an inclusive reading experience for Spanish-speaking students.

The art style is also beautiful with swirling contrasting colors as you can see on the cover. There were some strangely portrayed pages where the marine creatures were personified and there were half human/crab characters on the page. This magical realism story device may require some explanation for younger students so that it does not skew their fiction vs non-fiction understanding. Overall, this is a great story and a versatile book for teaching.

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The artwork is bright and fun. It is very appealing to young readers. I love that it is written in English and Spanish. It allows kids to explore a different language while reading. The story of cleaning up the ocean and recycling is great! My kids enjoyed the book and it would make a great gift for others.
Overall, a great book with a good message to kids about cleaning up and recycling. I appreciate that there is information in the back about reducing waste in the oceans.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of the book. All opinions are my own.

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A beautifully colored and informative bilingual story about two siblings, Isidora and Julian, and how one day they discover a sea lion trapped in a fishing net. An excellent resource for talking to kids about recycling, reusing, and taking care of our planet.
I particularly thought this book was special not only for the bilingual aspect, but because of how the publisher chose to “walk the walk and talk the talk” by choosing materials to make this book that would save trees and water. Amazing!

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