Plasticus Maritimus: An Invasive Species – Ana Pego, Bernardo P. Carvalho and Isabel Minhós Martins

Plasticus Maritimus: An Invasive Species – Ana Pego, Bernardo P. Carvalho and Isabel Minhós Martins, translated by Jane Springer, David Suzuki Institute/Greystone Kids, c2020, 2021. 9781771646451 

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5+

Format: Paperback

What did you like about the book? How many books about plastic pollution are so well-written, interesting and filled with the most unique colored pencil illustrations and photographs that you have a problem putting it down and returning to that riveting novel you are reading?  This is that book.  Ana Pego is a Portuguese marine biologist who has been fascinated by the ocean all her life.  The plight of the oceans filling up with plastic, plastic that represents 80% of the garbage in the ocean, is a threat to all life, human, marine, plant and animal.  The toxic properties of plastic hurt all life in a myriad of ways. “50-70 percent of the oxygen we breathe is produced in the oceans.”  “9 million tons of plastic ends up in the oceans every year.” (A thousand tons every hour!) If we keep behaving as we now, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea.

Pego divides the book into sections: the importance of the oceans, just what plastic is, how it is made and what it is made of – and its life expectancy: hundreds of years for each piece and how it can travel thousands of miles from its source.  She, of course, includes a section on what we can do, which is not simply recycling, but completely changing our life-style to exclude plastic from it, by not throwing all your plastic discards into the trash which ends up in the ocean.  Her Resources include a number of groups that are fighting ocean plastic and sources to back up all of her facts.

Anything you did not like about the book?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book? Everyone

Who should buy this book? Everyone.

Where would you shelve it? 363.738

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Editor, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review: September 7, 2021

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