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Reviewed by A. L. Peevey for Readers' Favorite
Umijoo: The Wondrous Tale of a Curious Girl and Her Journey Under the Sea by Casson Trenor tells the story of a young girl. Umijoo lives with her father by the sea, which makes her feel so small. Much of their food comes from the sea, and Umijoo’s father lovingly prepares their meals. But, he is concerned that Umijoo does not appreciate their food as she should. She tends to eat it thoughtlessly and too quickly. So to teach her a valuable lesson, one he himself learned when he was younger, her father gives a magical stone that will keep her safe and alive beneath the waves. As she journeys there, Umijoo meets some of the marvelous animals dwelling there. Will Umijoo learn the lessons taught by these friendly sea creatures and take their messages to heart?
What a beautiful book with an important message! I loved reading it. Umijoo: The Wondrous Tale of a Curious Girl and Her Journey Under the Sea by Casson Trenor is written in lyrical prose. In fact, readers might call it poetry. Its illustrations, by world-famous artist Caia Koopman, are wonderfully fanciful and simply gorgeous. With these two components, Trenor, an ocean conservationist, has created an attractive book for young and old readers alike. While it can be enjoyed as a magical adventure, some of this picture book’s characters actually do live in our oceans, and they have a message for Umijoo and all readers. The world’s oceans and seas are in trouble as is the natural environment as a whole, with much of the world on the brink of disaster. The purpose of the story is a plea to all of us for the conservation of Earth’s land, its natural waters, and the creatures living there. The author offers a list of things readers can do and also a website to learn more about conservation.