Tally is a sweet young turtle who lives in the Pacific Ocean with Granny Turtle and her friend Ara, a lobster she saved from a fisherman’s trap. Granny tells Tally she’s now old enough to go on adventures and suggests she and Ara explore the coral reef … but they must be watchful of danger. The worst, Granny warns, isn’t the sharks or jellyfish or even the speedboats, but the plastic patch.
Tally and Ara reach the reef safely and enjoy playing with the fish and crabs there, swimming in and out of the corals, but Tally gets carried away and suddenly discovers she’s lost. She spots lovely colors ahead and drifts toward them, hypnotized by their beauty and ignoring Ara’s frantic warnings, until she becomes tangled in a plastic bag. She twists and turns, doing everything possible to free herself, but Tally is trapped in the plastic bag.
Thankfully, Ara has remained nearby and quickly uses her claws to shred the bag and free Tally. The two friends carefully swim away, glad that they escaped the plastic patch, and crawl onto the beach, where Tally thanks Ara for saving her and suggests they spread the word about the danger of tossing plastic into the ocean. Ara agrees, and the two friends scratch a plea into the sand not to use the ocean as a garbage can.
Serena Lane Ferrari’s gentle tale introduces children ages 3 – 12 to the problems of plastic ocean pollution without frightening them too much. Giorgia Vallicelli’s illustrations vividly bring the ocean and its creatures to life, showing young readers how plastic endangers ocean residents, but softens the scariness by ensuring a friend is nearby to rescue them. The combination produces a teaching tool that children will not only want to read over and over, but soak in the drawings and imagine themselves as fish or crabs or even a young turtle named Tally and her lobster friend Ara.