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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Oceans is an environmental story book for children, grades K-3, written by Janet Balletta and illustrated by Alyssa Figueroa and Alexander C. Appello. Balletta is a second-grade teacher and the author of books about the environment for children. Marlene loves Miami’s sunsets and the warm waters of the North Atlantic. She’s one of seven mermaids who were selected by the Council for the Mermaid Mission to protect planet Earth’s oceans. Marlene was excited about the reunion she and her sisters would soon be enjoying. She spoke often to each of her sisters, and they frequently discussed the work they were doing to try to minimize the harmful impact of pollution on the oceans. Her South American sister, Fina, had been instrumental in stopping chemical dumping in the Gulf of Mexico, while Marlene was focused on getting kids and their families to stop dumping oils and plastics in the Atlantic. Marlene had exciting news for Fina -- they were going to be awarded medals by the Council for their efforts to stop pollution and save the environment.
Janet Balletta’s environmental story book for children, grades K-3, Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Oceans, entertains as it teaches kids about threats to the environment and shows them what they can do to get involved in keeping the oceans pure. Alyssa Figueroa and Alexander C. Appello’s illustrations are brilliantly colored and make the seven mermaids in the story come to life. I was impressed by the depth of coverage of environmental topics presented in this book -- from dumping to the over-proliferation of red crabs in the Mediterranean to the toxic effects of pollution on imported seafood. The effects of marine oil drilling are also discussed. Balletta includes a helpful Teacher’s Guide which introduces vocabulary and offers discussion questions. Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Oceans is most highly recommended.