Wednesday, June 2, 2021

OCEAN SOUP: A Recipe for You, Me, and a Cleaner Sea: A Picture Book Review and Giveaway

 Beware! Reading this nonfiction picture book written by Meeg Pincus and illustrated by Lucy Semple, may convince you that you are over-using plastic. That's what it did for me!

Do you see those four children walking along the beach on the cover? Those characters illustrate the scenes of Ocean Soup (Sleeping Bear Press, 2021) as they go from playing at the beach, to discovering that what appears to be pure and clean under a microscope is SOUP! And not a very tasty or healthy one either. 


As you can tell, Meeg Pincus wrote a book with a powerful message, in simple and accessible verse. On a few pages she shows how people have been using styrofoam cups, bottled water, synthetic fibers, and plastic containers without thinking about the consequences to our environment. 

The four characters ask an important question:

Do you ever wonder how this produced Ocean Soup? 
How such everyday habits made saltwater goop? 



Here is a fact I didn't know:

Once it's made , any plastic is with us to stay. 
It's on Earth till forever--there's no real "away."

Here are more interesting facts shown on a spread of the world's oceans:

Sad and startling is the fact that Ocean Soup fills the bellies of all types of creatures from dolphins to plankton to crabs. And if plastic is in the bellies of fish then,

The "story" ends with four pages of suggestions of ways in which children can use less plastic. 

End notes include lists of the plastics that pollute the world's seas and a recipe for cleaner oceans. Meeg's author's note reflected how I felt after reading Ocean Soup:

I wrote this book to remind myself about my own impact on my beloved ocean, by the daily choices I make, as much as anyone else. We all need to rethink our use of plastic and speak up to manufactures and lawmakers about the overproduction. It will take a sea change to save our seas--and it starts with each one of us, each day.

This great curriculum resource can be useful in kindergarten through fourth grade. The characters appear to be around eight, but the book's message that is delivered in smooth rhyme, is for all ages.

Here's an interesting note from Meeg about the four children who show up throughout the book. Since they have no speaking lines, I wondered if she created them or suggested them to the illustrator. Here is what she said:

"The four kids were a creation of the art team for the book, actually! I'm not sure who among the illustrator, art director, and editor came up with them, but I was so thrilled when I saw them! I think it's a great example of how "leaving room for the illustrator" can lead to magic when the artist sees their own story within the author's story."


To enter, please leave me a comment by 6 PM on June 4 along with your email address if you are new to my blog. Share it on social media and tell me what you did, and I'll enter your name twice.  Continental U.S. addresses only. 


Nicole Caprio said...

Looks like a great book! We are studying oceans right now in my kindergarten class.

Carol Baldwin said...

Nicole, Please leave me your email address so I can enter your name.

Unknown said...

Wow!! Loved the illustrations and the message.
I shared your post on FB. :)

Unknown said...

The last message was from me, Hewi Mason :)

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, hewi. I thought this was you!! And thanks for sharing on FB.

Connie Porter Saunders said...

My 7-year-old granddaughter is very interested in littering and saving our environment. Sounds like the perfect book!
cps1950 (at) gmail (dot) com

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Sorry, forgot to mention that I just shared giveaway on FB.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Connie. You're in twice.

Danielle H. said...

I've seen this book on another blog and as a person who loves the ocean and environment, I can't wait to read it. Plus, it's written in rhyme, so it's also mentor text for me to study. I shared on tumblr:

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks for sharing this, Danielle. YOu're in twice too.

Kirsten Larson said...

I absolutely love Meeg's books and can't wait to read this one. Thanks for offering this contest.

Carol Baldwin said...

I know, Meeg's books are wonderful. Happy to have you join the party, Kirsten!

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Carol,
This book touches my heart! Protecting the beach, sea turtles, and other ocean animals! Thank you for sharing Ocean Soup!

Never Give Up

Carol Baldwin said...

If you win it, Joan, I'm sure you'll find someone special to give this to!

Readergirl4 said...

Oh Wow! I am always on the hunt for awesome and engaging books to share among my 5 school libraries...and the vibrant richly detailed illustrations just add to the important message of this book. Thanks for the opportunity!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Karen! I hope you decide to follow my blog!

I Write for Apples said...

I love this book. Shared on Twitter and Facebook. Happy to help spread the word. :) wavesandsand(at)hotmail(dot)come

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks for sharing the post-- you are in twice "wavesandsand"!

JoyceHostetter said...


This is why I won't own a Keurig, seldom buy bottled water, and wash and reuse Solo cups. But I could do soooo much more! Thank you for the reminder and I'm glad it prompted change for you. I will think about at least one plastic I can cut out of my life.

I'm going to share this on FB.

Carol Baldwin said...

I'm with you, Joyce, on little bottled water. I hadn't thought of reusing Solo cups. Will start doing that! Thanks for sharing on FB>

Rosi said...

My daughters have made me particularly aware of all the plastic I used to use. I have cut way back, but it's impossible to get it all out of our lives it seems. What a wonderful way to get kids to be aware of this colossal problem. It looks like a great book. Thanks for telling me about it. I hope a teacher wins this book. I will pass on the giveaway.

Carol Baldwin said...

You are right, Rosi. I re-use my containers over and over again and am trying to buy larger bottles whenever possible. But it does seem impossible to take it out of our lives. Thanks for your comment.

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