Umijoo

The Wondrous Tale of a Curious Girl and Her Journey Under the Sea

Children - Grade 4th-6th
64 Pages
Reviewed on 06/12/2020
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Author Biography

Casson Trenor has dedicated his life to improving the relationship between human beings and our oceans. He is a seasoned activist who uses powerful storytelling and science-based environmental realities to educate and inspire audiences around the world.

During the span of his conservation career, Casson has pursued illegal whalers through the icy waters of Antarctica, keynoted conferences for multinational banks, conducted record-setting beach cleanups to raise awareness of plastic waste, and spearheaded successful international campaigns to reform some of the world's largest seafood companies. In honor of his conservation leadership, Casson has received the TIME Magazine "Hero of the Environment" award, a US Congressional Commendation, and the "Ocean Protection Hero" award from the well-respected environmental organization Save Our Shores. In June 2019, the California State Senate passed a resolution in recognition of his work.

Casson is the author of two books on ocean conservation, including 2019's Umijoo -- a children's book about food, the ocean, and responsibility -- which is now required reading in multiple schools around the world.

Casson's passion for sustainable food systems led him to found the world's first sustainable sushi restaurant, San Francisco's Tataki Sushi and Sake Bar, in 2008. Building on its success, Casson and his partners went on to open several more restaurants, including San Francisco's Shizen, Honolulu's Tane, and Las Vegas's Chikyu: all fully plant-based sushi bars that have received a great deal of critical acclaim.

Casson currently resides in Port Townsend, WA, on the shores of the Salish Sea.

    Book Review

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.