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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Kaleisha is a mermaid who lives in the ocean. One day she asks Agwe the turtle if she can join him as he moves around the ocean floor, looking for tasty food to eat. He agrees and it’s a good thing. Seeing some jellyfish, he thinks he’s found a treat. After consuming several, Agwe starts to choke. Kaleisha saves him by removing the so-called jellyfish from deep in the turtle’s throat, only to discover that it’s not jellyfish, but discarded plastic bags. Kaleisha is shocked. She starts a campaign to promote: “reduce, reuse, recycle.” The people living on the land start to help and gradually the ocean is cleaned up.
Bethany Stahl’s picture book story, Save the Ocean, is a beautiful tale to teach young readers the importance of protecting our oceans, as well as the entire planet. The plot develops simply with very simple language that will definitely appeal to young readers. The colorful illustrations are spectacular and definitely assist in carrying the story along. The dialogue between the mermaid and the turtle is clever and to the point. The end of the book contains interesting facts on the ocean and the creatures that live in the ocean as well as useful facts about the refuse that is frequently dumped in the oceans. For example, “a bag you use could still be in the ocean when you have a great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchild!” There are also activities to help reinforce the importance of protecting the oceans. There is a link to an animated audiobook to further entertain the young reader and teach them about recycling. A charming story with a powerful message.