The Global Ocean

Kids Can. May 2022. 36p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781525304910.
Gr 3-7–Portraying the global ocean as the beating heart of the Earth, pumping nutrients and oxygen around the planet, Strauss opens with a palpable sense of urgency. The global ocean, the worldwide network of interconnected seas, is in trouble. Overfishing and bycatch, coastal building and habitat destruction, plastic pollution, and the warming and acidification of oceans resulting from climate change are all examined. While these grim realities are presented starkly enough, the inclusion of positive action steps provide a balance. Each spread features a “ripple of change” element, highlighting some of the varied interventions happening around the globe. For example, Bangladesh was one of the first countries to ban single-use plastic bags, a step which many other countries subsequently followed. The digital illustrations lovingly portray marine wildlife and environments in some scenes while showing the distressing consequences of human action in others. One view portrays oversized whales swimming alongside an enormous oil spill, a fishing boat hauling a huge catch, skyscrapers sprouting from the shorelines, and floating trash piles littering what should be expanses of unbroken blue water. Back matter includes advice to teachers, parents, and young readers to encourage further investigation into ocean life and threats, while also providing action steps to mitigate the impact of human activities on the global ocean.
VERDICT A timely exploration of the threats facing the world’s oceans, this book will educate and inspire the next generation of environmental activists.

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