From School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Who would have thought that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch could evoke readers' sympathy? Allison personifies the floating accumulation of trash into a being filled with loneliness and longing. Among the plastic bags, bottles, and other debris, a used tire and windblown umbrella appear as eyes. Shifts in the floating morass open "mouths" that reveal words such as "come in" or "hello," the story's only text. Extensions from the edges of the garbage monster appear as overgrown hands, sometimes reaching down to a giant squid and other times pointing to the various messages. Meanwhile, more trash arrives from sea and sky, including the carcass of an albatross, dead after ingesting plastic. The puzzling ending has the entire mass rising skyward, followed by the monster's face shining in the night sky. The images themselves are arresting, providing multiple perspectives from above, below, and on the surface of the floating mass of trash. Allison's work might serve as a discussion starter to lead in to the information pages about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, endangered species, and ways individuals can help reduce ocean pollution. Environmentalist Jeff Corwin's introduction explains the problem's magnitude. Loree Burns's Tracking Trash (Houghton, 2007) explains how scientists study ocean currents and the movement of debris and includes photos of garbage patches. Ted Kooser's Bag in the Wind (Candlewick, 2010) combines text and illustrations to follow the multiple owners and uses of a single plastic bag.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankatoα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
About the Author
Rachel Hope Allison earned her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2009. She now works as an illustrator and with several non-profit organizations in online organizing and fundraising. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, dodges hipsters and babies on the way to the subway, works, draws, reads, and generally plays way too much Rockband.