Author Lucy Munday has partnered with Sea Changers for a collaboration between the charity and Lucy’s first self-published children’s picture book, Maya in the Rubbish Sea. The book focuses on ocean pollution and conservation featuring Maya and her friend Finn, a talking Parrotfish. Together they make new friends from their underwater adventures, with unexpected lessons about ocean protection for both children and adults to enjoy.
Similar to how Sea Changers founders Helen Webb and Rachel Lopata came to create the charity, Lucy embarked on this journey to educate children about ocean conservation after scuba diving in Bali in 2014, where she taught English as a second language. It was during the dives that Lucy was inspired to write this story as she noticed pollution on the reefs and marine life, and washing up on shores.
“The whole island is so beautiful, but it’s over-developed for the saturated tourist industry. Diving there made it sink in that we have so much to do to help the oceans and ultimately ourselves. Bali is a really good example of what we are doing to the planet as a whole. Marine biologist Dr Sylvia Earle is famous for saying that ‘if there’s no blue, there’s no green’, and that’s how I feel about it too.
“Partnering with Sea Changers is so exciting. Not just because I get to show my work to a whole new audience of people who are interested in this subject, but because I will get to be involved in the positive actions they are taking to protect the seas. The arts and literature have a really important role to play in helping inspire humanity to find the passion and drive to make the changes we must make and I’m honoured to be involved with Sea Changers”.
On the aims of the story, Lucy says: “I wanted to write a story for children about the many ways that pollution clogs our oceans, which wouldn’t just be about plastic waste. It’s also about climate change, sea temperature rise, overfishing and ocean conservation.”
“I want to empower children with my stories because I’m conscious that climate writing can be emotionally challenging. I also wanted to show that the solutions are about more than individual change. There is a need to collectively address climate change and as a writer that meant encouraging the reader to ask questions.”
Helen says: “At Sea Changers we are passionate about ocean conservation and forward-thinking initiatives aimed at educating new generations about the impact we, the human species, are having on our environment. That’s why we are thrilled to have partnered with Lucy Munday for the launch of her book. Lucy is a fantastic ambassador for the oceans and it is great to have her support of our important work.
London-based illustrator Simona De Leo provided the beautiful look of the story, blending traditional watercolour with digital techniques. Lucy’s passion for and unique approach to the subject of ocean conservation allows the audience to think on the origins of marine pollution and climate change within the context of a magical adventure.
Maya in the Rubbish Sea is made for children aged 4 to 8 years old, containing clear themes of environmentalism, magic and heroism. Maya is also a protagonist of colour, addressing the only 5% of children’s books featuring BAME leading characters.