Sullie Saves the Seas
Author: Goffinet McLaren
Reviewed By: Anne Holmes for the NABBW
This wonderful children’s book introduces the world to Sullie the Seagull, Author McLaren’s newly hatched “spokesbird” for clean oceans.
This is a parable told by Sullie, an old seagull. Sullie’s tale begins on Turtle Beach, the morning after Memorial Day, and provides a lesson about the dangers of trash in our oceans. Sullie’s information is correct: All the experts say the solution to our trash-choked oceans begins at home, since most of the trash in our oceans begins on shore.
Remembering how “Woodsy Owl,” the icon for the United States Forest Service, became famous for advising children and adults to “Give a hoot – don’t pollute!” the forests, I suggest Sullie and this book ought to be mandatory reading for every child in every elementary school in America.
It only makes sense, knowing how children love to champion a cause once they know about a situation, making sure they become aware of the dangers of plastic trash is clearly an important step toward stopping future trash from being added to our oceans.
The book features a foreword written by Captain Charles Moore, the sea captain who accidentally discovered what is now known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 1997, so this oceanic trash problem is clearly a serious topic, despite the fact that Sullie’s story is told as a light-hearted lesson. But remember, a serious story told in an entertaining way is generally the best way to teach children – and adults — about grave problems.
Knowing that schools are strapped for funds, I suggest we begin educating children to the problem of plastic trash in the seas by sharing this book with every child we know. Or possibly gifting a copy to every grade school teacher we know, so he or she can read it to their classes and use it as the underpinning for a lesson plan on how saving the saving the oceans begins at home.
And beginning at home can be very powerful: In my part of the country, one young man, Chad Pegracke, became concerned about cleaning up the Mississippi River. He started by picking up river-borne trash in his own neighborhood, but now has a non-profit organization, Living Lands and Waters, several barges and a crew, and has made cleaning up our nation’s major rivers and watersheds his life mission.
I’m hopeful this book might inspire a similar effort to save the oceans of the world.