“Duffy’s Lucky Escape,” by Ellie Jackson and Liz Oldmeadow, is a children’s picture book about a sea turtle. She lives on a colorful coral reef. Duffy was minding her own business when a storm came and washed her out to sea. There her adventure with trash in the ocean began…unknown to her she eats some plastic (sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellies). Fortunately she is rescued, rehabilitated, and eventually released back where she belongs.
“Duffy’s Lucky Escape” is based on real events. It is a charming children’s book that gently teaches kids about garbage in the oceans and the dangers that it poses to wildlife.
The illustrations are beautiful and colorful. They are realistic, but still cartoony as you’d expect from a children’s picture book. There are facts about sea turtles at the end as well as ways children can help ocean wildlife such as Duffy. For instance, everyone can use less plastic by using a reusable water bottle instead of single use water bottles and also not use plastic straws.
I highly recommend this book for any school-aged child—it would make a great addition to any library. It teaches in a gentle way, and it has actionable tips so children feel empowered to help ocean wildlife.
There are other Wild Tribe Heroes books. “Marli’s Tangled Tale” is about a puffin who gets tangled in a balloon from a balloon release. Another is “Nelson’s Dangerous Dive” about a whale who gets trapped in fishing nets. A newly released book is “Buddy’s Rainforest Rescue” about an orangutan and palm oil.
On Kiki’s Reef (Dawn Publications, 2014) is a delightful children’s picture book about the life cycle of a sea turtle.
Along the way, Kiki meets animals on a coral reef. This book is aimed at lower elementary school grades (4-8 years old). Its ample backmatter will appeal to older children, and to parents who can explain it to their young child.
This book is considered fiction, probably because Kiki has a name and the story is told from her point-of-view in the third person. I would consider it informational fiction because real facts are scattered throughout the 755 word book.
Kiki starts off as a hatchling scurrying to the ocean after hatching on the beach. A page later she is already six years old! This is okay because sea turtles’ life cycles are long (she won’t lay eggs until she’s older than 20 years old) and this is just a picture book!
She “meets” coral, clownfish and the colorful fish (tangs and wrasses) that clean her shell of algae. I won’t give away all the animals she meets, which by the way she never talks to, but she even meets a human diver.
Then the book is over when she lays her eggs on the beach where she was born.
The backmatter includes more information on all the creatures mentioned or pictured in the book, and “Carol’s Teaching Treasures,” which includes the author’s activities for kids, web links and book suggestions.
The backmatter invites repeated readings, as children will be searching for all the critters mentioned.
Overall I recommend this book to all elementary school aged children who want to be introduced to not only sea turtles, but to the other denizens of the coral reef.
What type of fish is Dory from the Finding Nemo and Finding Dory movies?
What type of fish is Dory and her parents?
Dory and her parents are Yellow Tail Blue Tangs or Blue Hippo Tangs or Pacific Blue Tangs or Palette Surgeonfish. Her Mom’s name is Jenny and her Dad’s name is Charlie.
What type of fish are Marlin and Nemo?
They are Ocellaris or False Percula Clownfish or Clown Anemonefish.
What kind of sea turtles are Crush and Squirt?
They are Green Sea Turtles, one of 7 species of sea turtles. Green sea turtles were named green for the fat on their body, not the color of their shells or skin.
What kind of ray is Mr. Ray?
He is a Spotted Eagle Ray. Fortunately he’s not the type of Stingray shown migrating in the movie or else he’d be leaving his students behind! There is a specific kind of ray known as the Golden Cownose Ray that may migrate in groups of up to 10,000!
What kind of whale is Bailey?
Bailey is a Beluga Whale. Belugas are often called the “canaries of the sea” because of their vocalizations. Their (squishy) fat-filled melons (heads) are supposed to help with echolocation, the sonar that many whales use in the ocean.
What kind of fish is Destiny?
Destiny is a Whale Shark. It’s cute that she and Dory knew each other and can speak whale, but Destiny is a Shark, not a Whale! She’s the largest shark in the ocean, but only eats tiny plankton with her cavernous mouth. Whale Sharks do have poor eyesight because their eyes are so tiny compared to their bodies, but they are not clumsy. Anyone who has snorkeled with Whale Sharks know they can turn on a dime to avoid swimming into you!
What kind of octopus is Hank?
Hank is a generic octopus. Octopuses are masters of camouflage and many can turn orange like Hank. He is actually missing an arm, so he’s a “septopus.” In real life, the octopus would grow any missing arms back. There are so many neurons in a severed octopus arm that it can move and hunt on its own!
What kind of Sea Lions are Rudder and Fluke?
Sea Lions are probably California Sea Lions. I’m guessing they are California Sea Lions because part of the movie takes place off of California. If they were both male, then they could be found off of Pier 39 in San Francisco where bachelor males hang out and entertain tourists.
What kind of Sea Otters are the baby Sea Otters?
The baby Sea Otters are oh so cute! They are probably Southern Sea Otters, mainly found off the California coast. Sea otters don’t stand up on their hind legs like river otters do, and they couldn’t climb up the poles to the freeway! In some press pictures, it looks like there are baby sea otters in a group. There would never be a group of babies together because a wild Sea Otter pup stays with Mom 24/7 and they rarely socialize with other mother/pup pairs. Even surrogate Sea Otter Moms at the Monterey Bay Aquarium only take care of one pup at a time!
What type of bird is Becky?
I speculate Becky is a Pacific Loon. Loons may mate for life! They eat mainly fish, crustaceans, and insects.
2. There are 7 species of Sea Turtles: Kemp’s Ridley, olive Ridley, flatback, hawksbill, loggerhead, green and leatherback.
3. The Leatherback Sea Turtle is the largest turtle and heaviest reptile on the planet. It can grow up to 8 feet long (2.4 m) and weigh 1 ton or 2,000 pounds (907 kg).
4. Sea Turtles have been around longer than the dinosaurs (150 million years ago versus dinosaur extinction 65 million years ago).
5. The temperature of a Sea Turtle nest determines whether a Sea Turtle will be a girl or boy. The warmer part of the nest produces females, and the cooler part of the nest produces males.
6. As few as 1 in 4,000 hatchling Sea Turtles will reach adulthood to reproduce.
7. Some Sea Turtles mistake plastic bags floating in the ocean for jellyfish and eat them. Other threats to Sea Turtles include being entangled in fishing gear, disease, light and oil pollution, and habitat loss.
8. Some Sea Turtle females lay their eggs on the same beach they were born on.
9. Sea Turtles can hold their breath for up to 6 hours when resting underwater.
This World Oceans Day I would like to reflect on the state of the oceans. There are 3 major issues facing the oceans. They are (in no particular order):
2. Climate Change
*It is estimated that 90% of all large fish (and many smaller species) have been fished out of the oceans.
*According to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), 53% of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited, and 32% are overexploited, depleted, or recovering from depletion.
Fishing can be too efficient with entire schools of fish being caught at once. Fishing can also be incredibly wasteful with by-catch such sea turtles, whales, and sharks when only one fish is being sought (like tuna).
Shark finning is a prime example of overfishing. It is estimated that 100 million sharks are killed a year. They are killed mainly for their fins, which is used to make shark fin soup. Sharks are top level predators, and their naturally low numbers in the wild reflect that. As a consequence, they are slow to reproduce and cannot keep up with the current levels of fishing.
Climate change includes global warming, sea level rise, and ocean acidification.
Global warming will cause the oceans to become warmer, and may substantially change ocean circulation patterns. This may disrupt natural feeding cycles and may affect the weather. Some ocean species, like coral, only have a narrow range of temperature tolerance and will die if the oceans become too warm.
Global warming will cause polar ice caps to melt, and sea level will rise accordingly. Some island nations will be flooded out of existence.
Ocean acidification occurs when the pH of the seawater decreases and becomes more acidic (think soda pop). This is because the oceans absorb about a quarter of all carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) in the atmosphere. Ocean acidification will make it harder for some animals to build their calcium based shells, and cause many species to go extinct. Ocean acidification has other deleterious effects that are just being discovered.
Pollution can come in many forms, like untreated sewage, agricultural runoff, or sedimentation. The worst offender by far is plastic pollution. Every imaginable bit of plastic ends up in the oceans one way or another. From plastic bags, to unidentifiable microscopic bits, ocean denizens at all levels of the food chain are affected.
While the outlook for the three problems mentioned sound bleak, there is hope.
*Marine protected areas (MPAs) can help fisheries become sustainable by being a nursery for the fish caught right outside the MPA borders. Unfortunately only 1% of the oceans are protected.
*Curbing carbon dioxide emissions (i.e. using less fossil fuel) by using other alternative energies will help tremendously in slowing down ocean acidification.
*Driving less and using public transportation are ways to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Also consider getting solar power for your home or workplace.
*Plastic pollution is preventable, especially by cutting down the use of single use plastic bags (bring your own bags to the grocery store!), and by supporting local plastic bag bans. We can also pressure manufacturers to use only recyclable packaging.
So this World Oceans Day, please realize that everyday each one of us can make a difference in the health of our oceans!