Please welcome author Elisa Boxer with her top five picture book picks on the topic of ocean pollution. We are giving away a signed, personalized copy of One Turtle’s Last Straw. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom.
I’m thrilled to be joining you to talk trash, Mia! Ocean pollution is such a pervasive problem, and thankfully there are many wonderful books that address it. I wanted to write a story to raise awareness about the issue of plastics harming marine life, and when I came across the viral video of the sea turtle who almost died from a straw blocking his nasal cavity, I knew I wanted to turn this into a picture book.
One Turtle’s Last Straw: The Real-Life Rescue That Sparked a Sea Change by Elisa Boxer, illustrated by
… tells the story of that sea turtle, the marine biologists who rescued him, and the chance encounter that prompted a worldwide movement to ban plastic straws. For me, the fact that these small pieces of plastic can be so devastating for sea life also highlights the power of our choices to make a positive impact on the world. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Top 5 Picture Books on Ocean Pollution
Microplastics and Me by Anna Du
I first connected with Anna while I was researching One Turtle’s Last Straw. When she was only twelve years old, Anna became so concerned with ocean pollution, that she invented a Remote-Operated Vehicle (ROV) with an infrared camera, to detect microplastics on the ocean floor. She wrote this book to increase awareness about the plastics pollution problem, and to encourage other kids to come up with solutions like she did. I was so impressed with Anna and her book that I ended up featuring her in my back matter section about kids taking action to tackle ocean pollution. [middle grade, ages 9 and up]
The Big Beach Cleanup by Charlotte Offsay, illustrated by Katie Rewse
Speaking of kids taking action to tackle the pollution problem, this recent book highlights both the challenges involved in cleaning up our beaches and the power of people coming together to do just that. Author Charlotte Offsay told me “I passionately believe that if enough hands join together we can change the world.” She said she wrote the book “out of a desire to show children that they don’t need to be superheroes to make a difference, they just need to do their part and join hands with those around them.” [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Ducks Overboard: A True Story of Plastic in Our Oceans by Marcus Motum
This is such a creative and relatable story, told from the point of view of a rubber duck who fell off a ship and encountered a sea full of plastic pollution. The book is full of little-known facts about ocean plastics, and it is beautifully balanced with ideas for how to help make a dent in the problem. [picture book, ages 6 and up]
Plastic, Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by Patricia Newman, illustrated by Annie Crawley
This is a fascinating, in-depth look at the Pacific Ocean’s infamous Garbage Patch. Kids will love following a team of real scientists who went on a mission to explore this dump-at-sea, where trillions of pieces of plastic have been collected in a humongous mess. It’s an up-close look at the pollution problem and its devastating impact on marine life. Young readers will be amazed and appalled at everything these researchers have uncovered, and they will be motivated to help in any way they can! [picture book, ages 8 and up]
Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles by Deborah Hopkinson and Philippe Cousteau, illustrated by Meilo So
This is a powerful look at the plight of baby loggerhead sea turtles, who are in danger of dying because of the light pollution that blocks their natural navigation system. Although this book doesn’t deal with plastic pollution, it does highlight the important issue of light pollution. I love that it also encourages kids to champion a cause and shows them the power of communities coming together to make a difference. [picture book, ages 5 and up]
One Turtle’s Last Straw Signed and Personalized Picture Book GIVEAWAY!
We are giving away a signed, personalized copy of One Turtle’s Last Straw. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter below. We can only mail to U.S. and A.F.O. addresses.
Elisa Boxer is an Emmy and Murrow award-winning journalist whose work has been featured in publications including The New York Times, Fast Company, and Inc. magazine. She has reported for newspapers, magazines, and TV stations, and has a passion for telling stories about people finding the courage to create change. She is the author of The Voice That Won the Vote, A Seat at the Table, and the forthcoming One Turtle’s Last Straw. Elisa lives in Maine, and she has several more picture books on the way. To learn more, visit her website and follow her on Twitter @eboxer, Instagram @boxerelisa, and Facebook.
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.