Sea creatures fortified by pastries work together to clean up their home.
“Under the sea, where sunlight touches sand,” aquatic animals live mostly in peace. “Scallop does loop-de-loops,” “Octopus hides in a coconut,” “The venomous Lionfish does whatever she pleases,” and “Crab bakes cakes.” Each full-page spread is a delight of detail, with adorable, expressive creatures that kids can pore over at length. The bright colors suddenly darken, though, when “one night, there’s a BIG SPLASH!” and a barge dumps a load of trash into their habitat. The animals freeze, horrified, but Crab gathers its fortitude and bakes yet another cake. The sea creatures collect as a community, eating and discussing what to do next, and they come up with a plan to send the trash back to the humans. Each animal does what it can to help (each with its own distinctive, vigorous verb), and soon life under the sea is back to normal. The tone shifts dramatically in this surprising story, from light and fun to serious and upsetting, gently but clearly showing children how everyone has unique skills and interests that they can use in support of community or a common goal. Just baking a cake might seem frivolous, but readers come away with the idea that nourishing and supporting one another is the only way to change the world.
A kid-friendly yet profound confection. (Picture book. 4-8)