Black Beach: A Community, an Oil Spill, and the Origin of Earth Day

(Author) (Illustrator)

Product Details

$18.99  $17.66
Little Bee Books
Publish Date
8.8 X 11.0 X 0.4 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Shaunna and John Stith are passionate about protecting the planet. Originally from the East Coast, they now live on the Santa Barbara Channel in Southern California where they are continually inspired by the hard work of young eco-activists. Like Sam, they've learned it feels a whole lot better to stand up and act than to sit back and watch. Black Beach is their first picture book together.

Maribel Lechuga is an illustrator living in Madrid, Spain. Her versatility and sensitivity make her illustrations stand out. She loves beautiful textures and bright colors, nature, animal watching, and hiking. @mlechugaillustration


"After an offshore drilling accident has sent oil gushing up the Santa Barbara Channel, it reaches a beach near Sam's home. She and her parents go to see what has changed. Dark oil coats the water and lies in patches on the sand. Other Santa Barbara residents join them and try to rescue sea birds, though no one really knows what to do. Sam is sad and then angry about the damage to her favorite place. She and other children help pack small bottles of black oil, which are sent to politicians. After visiting Santa Barbara, Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. senator and environmental activist, starts an initiative leading to the establishment of Earth Day, which increases awareness and action at Sam's school and beyond. The writers use sensory details effectively in creating a credible fictional narrative that draws children into what becomes an origin story for Earth Day and the birth of a movement. While the title page features an idyllic scene of Sam and other children playing on the beach, the place is almost unrecognizable later with oil coating the water and sand. The illustrations sensitively depict children and adults reacting to a serious issue and working together for change. A fine read-aloud choice for Earth Day."-- "Booklist, STARRED REVIEW"
"[A] perceptive view of a major milestone in the environmental movement. . . . this story offers a template for the sort of internal sea change required to spark real concern for environmental - or any other - issues."-- "Kirkus Reviews"