Paddling the scenic shores of our country and the world are kayakers making a difference for the environment. Chicago's Lina Lukashevich is one of them.
An author & teacher, Lina isn't making a splash by circumnavigating large land masses, tumbling down white water class-V rivers or paddling across The Great Lakes. Lina is motivating kayakers, especially the young, to take an interest in the quality of the waters they often take for granted through her recently published children's book, "Kayak Anna and the Palindrome Creek."
Referred to as a "thinly-veiled autobiography work of fiction" Kayak Anna is an eco adventure loosely based on the author's own love of kayaking and clean water activism.
“I want to share my love of kayaking and nature with our next generation of paddlers. I was astonished at how much pollution is choking our local streams, so I wrote this story to encourage readers to make a difference in their environment.”
"The Rock River Sweep was the first annual cleanup of the whole 276 mile length of the Rock River. Paddlers from the Prairie State Canoeists, The Illinois Paddling Council, and RockRiverSweep.org co-sponsored the clean up. We pulled trash from the river, piled it into our kayaks and canoes and collected several dumpsters worth of garbage!"
Written for ages 9 to 13, the book is a tale of two young neighbours, Xander and, Lina's heroine, Anna, along with her dog, a rescued whippet named Biester. Anna finds a used, beaten up kayak at a yard sale, and uses some savvy bargaining to win it as her very own, plus a life-jacket, paddle and emergency kit! An outfitting perfect for exploring the hidden "Palindrome" Creek, cherished as their favourite secret place on lazy afternoons, snapping pictures and catching pollywogs.
The story carries even the adult reader swiftly back to their best childhood days. Seeing the creek from the view of her kayak, Anna discovers the serious pollution challenges otherwise out of view, and the two friends set out to bring the dilemma to the community's attention. It is not illustrated, but the story creates a visual experience that engages the mind in applying the principles to their own local waters.
True to her teaching background the book includes a discussion and activity guide in the end. "Kayak Anna and the Palindrome Creek" is also being used by Chicago schools through the Literacy for All program. The wordplay of palindromes (words spelled the same forward and back) along with the messages of forgiveness and environmental activism make it a fun and educational read for kids.
Kayak Anna on sale now at KayakAnna.org
All of Lina's profits from the book are donated to help provide clean, safe drinking water to children around the world through Living Water International.
Lina commented: “More than 800 million people don’t have clean water to drink. When my husband and I visited Africa and South America, we saw the situation firsthand and wanted to help.”
To make the most of your purchase toward this organization's efforts, buy the book through KayakAnna.org; however, it is also available at Amazon.com.
The cover illustration is by artist Kathleen Spale, a librarian and illustrator. Her other children’s books can be seen at KathleenSpale.com.
Lina resides in "Chicagoland" with her musician husband "Johnny L" and numerous unruly Whippet Hounds. She is often spotted kayaking or teaching English as a Second Language.
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