A sea turtle sees her beloved ocean undergoing worrisome, even dangerous, changes.
Seemingly pitched to incite mild alarm rather than anything stronger in young audiences, this tale follows Little Turtle on an idyllic life course from hatching to maturity. One day, in the course of a pleasant journey back to the beach where she was born, she notices that colors are fading on the reef, and there are more and more “strange new creatures”—plastic bags, in Poh’s bubbly, shimmering undersea scenes—floating everywhere. “The ocean no longer [feels] like a friend,” particularly after she is caught in a drift of netting. In the nick of time, though, two (white) divers “[emerge] from the strangeness” to free her and to restore the sea floor to its former natural beauty. “Thank you,” she says, paddling away with a delighted smile on her delicately featured anthropomorphic face. The more emphatic tones in Michelle Lord’s The Mess That We Made, illustrated by Julia Blattman (2020), or Deborah Diesen’s Pout-Pout Fish Cleans Up the Ocean, illustrated by Dan Hanna (2019), more effectively capture the urgency of the issue. Still, the light touch here offers a less-pressured—and arguably more developmentally appropriate—invitation to absorb the information about the causes and dangers of plastic pollution that Davies places in a closing note.
A call to save our oceans, gentler than most.(print and web resources) (Picture book. 5-7)