For young readers comes an imaginative guide to ocean plastics, filled with tips and tricks for identifying – and combating – pollution in our oceans.
Inspired by biologist Ana Pêgo's life's work, and filled with engaging science and colorful photographs, this foundational look at plastic pollution in the ocean explains why it is such an urgent contemporary issue.
When she was young, Ana Pêgo didn't play in a backyard, but on a beach. She walked along the shore, looked at tide pools, and collected fossils. As she grew older, Pêgo noticed a new species at the seaside: plastic. She decided to collect it, study it, and give it a Latin name – Plasticus maritimus – to warn people of its dangers to our planet.
Pêgo tells us how plastics end up in our rivers, lakes, and oceans, shares plastic's chemical composition and physical properties, and offers a field guide to help readers identify and understand this new invasive species in all its forms, from the obvious (fishing nets and water bottles) to the unfamiliar (tiny, clear particles called microplastics). Finally, she offers a critical look at our current "solutions" to plastic contamination and in her most important proposal – revolutionize – calls for deep changes in our habits, motivating young and old alike to make a difference, together. An artificial and almost indestructible species, Plasticus maritimus deserves to have its days numbered! Together, we can send it packing.
Published in Partnership with the David Suzuki Institute.
Ana Pêgo is a marine biologist and is involved in environmental education projects that combine science and art to raise people's awareness about the need to conserve the ocean. She created Plasticus Maritimus – an ongoing project and Facebook page, where she gives regular updates on her findings.
Isabel Minhós Martins graduated in Communication Design from Lisbon College of Fine Arts and co-founder of the Portuguese publisher Planeta Tangerina. She the author of numerous books, including When I Was Born.
Bernardo P. Cavalho is an award-winning illustrator and co-founder of the Portuguese publisher, Planeta Tangerina.
"Clever [...] beguiling [...] .Readers age 11 and older are likely to finish this book feeling both persuaded and uplifted. Beauty has a way of doing that."
– Wall Street Journal
"A marine biologist warns of the impact of "invasive" plastics on the ocean environment [...] presenting a solid introduction to the science and a clear call to action."
– Horn Book Magazine
"A cleverly conceived and comprehensive introduction to a serious issue."
– Kirkus Reviews
"While the subject is serious, Plasticus Maritimus is an upbeat read sure to inspire positive action in children and adults alike."
– Hakai Magazine
"With beautiful illustrations, easy to understand explanations and a lot to say on the subject, this comprehensive guide to the most invasive man-made species will leave the readers horrified. I grew increasingly sick, and by the end of it, I was committed to hunt down, reduce, erase, and hopefully eradicate the problem once and for all."
"Plasticus Maritimus is truly a pivotal book of our time. Ana's journey to specializing on this topic mirrors many and especially youth we meet all over the world. I can't imagine a better 'field guide' will ever be made that explains the problem, offers alternatives and provides a clear call to action. Bravo Ana!"
– Adrian Midwood, Executive Director, Plastic Oceans Canada
"I loved this book for so many reasons! There are bright, colourful pictures that draw the reader in. The book is easy to understand and fun to read, but still gives very important information about this new invasive species "Plasticus martimus." I think this book should be in every class for all kids of all ages."
– Mason Vander Ploeg of Mason's Ocean, Junior Plastics Oceans Ambassador and London Drugs recycling ambassador