CBR15Passport from another country
Dr. Sue Pillans (or Suzie Starfish) is an Aussie marine scientist and artist. She has created a story about the Great Barrier Reef and the loss of the color of the coral, aptly named The Great Barrier Thief. We learn t hat there is something called climate change and how it is human controlled. I word it that way as Pillans presents the idea as if she is the first to do so. And she tries a bit of humor to make herself cleverly tell us this. The problem is that we have seen it before and there is nothing new here.
Sure, this time we are focusing just on the coral reef and how the colors of them have vanished, but the almost “happy happy joy joy” attitude of how the creatures of the ocean bring the color back was off putting and a bit off (the fish character, Anthia, tells the other fish, turtles, and animals, to swim down to the colder water, push it upwards and Mary Poppins Spoon full of sugar it okay).
While that was not my cup of tea, the illustrations are nice. They are clever in the way that they present the idea of loss of color to the reef. This time, that magical and fantastical element works. But still not great. Yet, I do like the stark contrast of the two themes “color is here” and “no more color.” There is a small afterwards to help explain things more and give science to this mostly fictionalized story.
And while this is not for me, I know several people who will like it. I can see it in a classroom setting of at least five and up, but though it could be adapted to a more preschool level. Overall, it is a book you need to read/see to figure out who would be the best audience.