Listen When the Ocean Speaks begins with the words, “Listen. You can hear the ocean when you put a conch shell up to your ears. Shhh…Listen. Someone is speaking.”
In the text that follows, Mother Ocean proceeds to explain to the children snorkeling in her waters, along with readers, why her water has become so cloudy, how hurt she is by the disrespect people have shown when they destroy the mangroves along her shores and throw trash in her waters; and the damage being done to the reefs by people who pick coral. The mantra presented throughout, “Save the Sea while there’s still time. It’s never too late to make things fine.”
Empowering kids is a major theme in the book. Lieder Cebuhar says she hopes to see her book used as a teaching tool in the classroom and beyond. “I wrote about the ocean because of my fundamental love of water, and realizing that maybe I can make a difference in saving the sea,” she said.
If early reviews are any indication, she is succeeding. John Warley, the bestselling author of A Southern Girl, Bethesda’s Child and The Moralist, said, “Any child who has ever frolicked on the beach has heard the ocean in a seashell. Mary Cebuhar has cleverly and creatively turned that universal experience into a cry from the deep, pleading in the language of the young to save our waters and reefs from the man made threats to their health.”
Kathy Loretta, editor of USA Today’s Mexican Caribbean edition in Cancun, Mexico, said, “With a cute twist, Mary Cebuhar brings the ocean to life to teach children about the importance of caring for it around the world. The oceans and seas around the globe are in danger; reefs are being threatened by contamination, garbage and global warming… This short story should be included in curriculums and libraries in order to incite conversation about the ocean’s problems.”
Copies of Listen When the Ocean Speaks are available online at Amazon.com and retails for $15.