Bloom by Julia Seal

  • published by Sunbird books

This ocean based picture book tells of how pollution in the oceans is impacting the many species that inhabit them, including plastic that can be found floating in the seas. We follow Luna as she enjoys exploring the vast ocean waters, and tells of her adventures when she returns home to her friends in the reef they live in. Luna sees beautiful things whilst out and about, and enjoys retelling of them to those awaiting her return, except for on this occasion Luna cannot find her friends when she heads home, and notices that the ocean seems to have warmed up too.

Eager to find her friends, and ensure they are all ok, Luna heads off in search of them, whilst asking different ‘species’ of ocean life that she passes along the way, and it is us readers that realise they are indeed manmade objects floating in the ocean, and not that which belongs there. This is linked to the temperature increase being felt in the ocean too. When Luna does find her friends she realises the cause of them having to have left their home, and she becomes determined to do something to cease the damage being done to their habitat, and realises that with the help of all of the other jellyfish she has become acquainted with they can make a bigger difference then she herself can do alone.

The context of this story is one that comes from a well researched situation, namely that of how the population of jellyfish has increased dramatically in recent years as a consequence of our devastating impact on the oceans through climate change and plastic pollution.

This book is beautifully illustrated with vibrant colours, used to detail the stunning sea life that features in the book, with the plastic pollution being portrayed with lesser vibrancy, and an other worldly vibe to them. I have always thought jellyfish to be majestic, and they are certainly given that feel to them, with my favourite illustration in the book being when all of the jellyfish can be seen together because there is an explosion of colour on the page, and it truly does justice to what an incredible sight this would be to see, and the collective strength they have.

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