These Seas Count!
Written by Alison Formento
Illustrated by Sarah Snow
Something bad has happened at Sunnyside Beach. There is trash everywhere. So Mr. Tate’s class is helping to clean up the beach. Captain Ned tries to keep the sea clean, but there is too much garbage for him and he needs some help. He tells the children that the sea is sad and if they listen closely, the sea will tell them a story. They hear about one whale leaping high, two giant sea turtles surfing, three marlins gliding and more. But, for sea life to be free and happy, the oceans must be clean and have no pollution. Everything in the ocean is connected so when the water is dirty, everything suffers. Now Mr. Tate’s class counts bags of garbage! When they ride on Captain Ned’s boat, they help clean the ocean then, too.
This lovely book emphasizes the need for humans to take care of earth. Having the sea “talk” to the children makes it less didactic, but the message is still a stern one. The digital collage illustrations create a feeling of depth with lots of color to keep the reader’s attention. There is a bibliography and a list of internet sites as well as an author’s note that provides background information on ocean pollution. Great for units on the environment. This book is good for a class read aloud and its second grade reading level makes this a choice for student-made audio books or PowerPoint presentations. The publisher’s website has a teacher’s guide with in-depth literacy activities: (http://www.albertwhitman.com/resources/BookResources/9/5/documents/these_seas_count_teachers_guide1.pdf). There is a nice book trailer on the author’s website: (http://www.alisonashleyformento.com/www.alisonashleyformento.com/WELCOME_TO_MY_WEBSITE%21.html).