Although in-person beach clean-ups and other activities to show our concern about the world are on hold at the moment, I hope you and yours were able to participate in some of the many virtual events held for Earth Day 2020. One important way we can stay involved is by reading about the problems of pollution and how we can help, in books such as today’s Perfect Picture Book.
Title: The Mess That We Made
Written By: Michelle Lord
Illustrated By: Julia Blattman
Publisher/Date: Flashlight Press/2020
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes/Topics: environment, pollution, oceans, plastic, garbage, activism, rhyming
THIS is the mess that we made.
Brief Synopsis: A rhyming, cumulative tale that recounts the impact that trash has on our oceans and marine life, and what we can do about it.
Links to Resources:
- Check out the informative back matter that explains ocean pollution and includes many ideas to take action;
- We may be sheltering at home now, but we can still take action by starting a home garden, by looking for items around the house that we can reuse, or by writing to corporations and/or legislators to keep our waters clean and safe for everyone;
- Watch the book trailer.
Why I Like this Book:
With its cumulative rhyming text and bright underwater scenes, The Mess That We Made is a wonderful call to action to safeguard our oceans and marine life. I love that children are at the center of the cover illustration and evident on each spread – all of our actions are important, whether we’re young or old. And unlike many books that focus on either the problem side or the solution side, The Mess That We Made makes clear that even though we got our world into the mess, we also have the means to get us out of it.
The Mess That We Made is a wonderful addition to ecology literature, particularly well-suited for younger classrooms and homes.
A Note about Craft:
Saving the earth is a huge, and daunting topic. How many of us have asked the questions, “What can I do?” “How can my actions make a difference?” By relating this daunting topic in lilting rhyme, that builds to a dismal scenario but then reverses to a hopeful one, and by wrapping the story in bright illustrations with children central to the action, the author and illustrator, I think, leave the reader with a feeling of hope and a desire to take action. That they provide many ways to do so without sounding preachy adds to this book’s appeal.
Flashlight Press publishes children’s books that “explore and illuminate the touching and humorous moments of family situations and social interactions through captivating writing and outstanding illustrations.”
This Perfect Picture Book entry is being added to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book list. Check out the other great picture books featured there!