By: Meeg Pincus
Illustrated by: Lucy Semple
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Publication Date: March 2021
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: March 17, 2021
From a distance, the ocean looks to be a beautiful place, but take a closer look and you'll see all the plastic trash that has inundated the sea. In her new book, Ocean Soup, Author Meeg Pincus takes on the task of educating children about what has happened to the world's oceans and what they can do to help.
The story gets going quickly with these opening lines:
"From afar the vast ocean appears pure and clean.
How it sparkles and shimmers - a beautiful scene.
But dig in a bit deeper and test a small scoop, and you'll see that, up close,
the sea looks more like...soup!"
Just what is "ocean soup," readers will ask. And the author answers by explaining that for decades, people used all sorts of plastics for convenience. Styrofoan cups, single-use bottles, straws, and ballons are just a few of the examples readers are given. Unfortunately,
"Once it's made, any plastic is with us to stay. It's on Earth till forever - there's no real 'away.'"
And sadly, much of that plastic finds its way to the world's oceans where,
"Once the plastic's pureed in the gyres' mighty waves,
it spills out as a soup that no animal craves."
What will happen to all that plastic that's been dumped in the ocean?
Ocean Soup gives an excellent overview of how one-use plastics have contaminated the world's oceans. Written in rhyme and with facts given at a level that children will understand, this book doesn't just explain the problem, but goes a step further but offering lots of suggestion on how to help. At the back of the book is a two-page spread explaining in more depth just what "ocean soup" is and then offers, "A Recipe for Cleaner Oceans (in 10 Steps)" that will give readers plenty of ideas on how to help.
Quill says: It isn't easy to write an interesting story about ocean pollution that will engage children and get them to want to help in the clean up effort, but author Meeg Pincus does just that in her new book, Ocean Soup.