I was delighted to be approached on Twitter by No Worries Whale to review a copy of their book of ocean poetry by Amanda Gehrke, illustrated by Alison Sojka. The book is designed to appeal to young readers to get them interested in the life of the oceans.
The poems in No Worries Whale are full of endearing ocean-going characters who address us in engagingly jaunty rhyming poetry accompanied by delightful illustrations. One of the first we meet is Thomas the Touring Turtle:
Thomas the touring turtle
Born on a Florida beach
Set off to find his mother
Who was somewhere out of reach.
The style is light hearted and many of the poems are entirely fanciful, such as Cookie Cutter Shark, in which 'a shark whose name is Clark..../ loves to bake confections'. Other poems though include a lot of interesting factual information about ocean life:
This paradise can be -2 degrees C
A wintery world weaved with whites and blues
Filled with funny fish you can see right through
(from Icefish Playground)
while other poems directly address some of the issues affecting ocean life:
When we contaminate the water
And pollute the Earth
It’s the corals and animals
Of the oceans who get hurt
(from Coral Reef)
There's even a poem (Aquatic Academy) to show the parallels between human children and fish and a few that offer advice for life, including Picasso Fish with its encouragement to the reader to Go paint the world a better place.
Children around the world will be captivated by the fishy characters in these poems and illustrations and hopefully will be inspired to find out more about the oceans and to protect the creatures that live there. An excellent example of using the arts to engage young people on issues around the environment.
No Worries Whale is available on Amazon or you can follow them on Twitter.