Ocean Soup: A Recipe for You, Me, and a Cleaner Sea

Sleeping Bear. Mar. 2021. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781534111189.
K-Gr 2–This picture book discusses environmentalism and conservation. The rhyming text is snappy and the bright cartoon illustrations are appropriately playful for the target audience. The simple and accessible text will encourage young activists, who will understand the damage done to our oceans. Pincus identifies the culprit as plastic: throwaway bags, synthetic clothing, cleaning products, and party balloons are named as the harmful ingredients of this “ocean soup.” Kitchen terms such as “blender” and “purée” are used to create an effective image of trash being endlessly stirred in once-clean waters. Pincus evokes sympathy for the innocent animals that ingest the toxic brew and emphasizes the fact that many of our own food choices can be impacted. Clear back matter explains the poor decisions that led to “ocean soup.” Specific plastic materials are depicted. Ten steps describe how kids can do their part; they will hopefully inspire all readers to work for cleaner oceans.
VERDICT This appealing book provides essential information without being preachy or heavy-handed. A definite purchase for all libraries.

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