A child who learns to love the outdoors will grow into an adult who will fight to protect it.

‘If you teach people to love something, they’ll take care of it,” is a phrase Capt. Marian Schneider’s daddy told her while growing up in Boca Grande. Capt. Marian, a pioneer in Charlotte County ecotourism, recently published the book “There’s a Captain in You.” In it, she explains how her father’s words shaped her perception of the world around her. His words influenced her decision to share her love of the local waterways with the public in hopes they will appreciate and take care of it.

Adults can teach children to love something, but so can books. The following three books introduce young readers to Florida’s marine environment and teach them to love, appreciate, and protect the world around them.

One in a Thousand: Those Amazing Sea Turtles

University of Florida

Seven species of sea turtles remain in the world: Flatback, green, hawksbill, leatherback, loggerhead, olive ridley and Kemp’s ridley. This science-based book introduces youth and adult readers to their biology and ecology. It discusses climate change and the effects on sea turtles and marine life. The book also addresses efforts by scientists and wildlife conservationists to protect sea turtles.

One in a Thousand is written by a team of marine education experts and includes photos and detailed illustrations. Included is a turtle glossary to assist in understanding scientific terminology. Ideal for fifth-graders, it can be a resource for a book report or group project. Learn more at IFASbooks.ifas.ufl.edu.

Priscilla and The Plastic Pirate: An Ocean Care Club Adventure

Ocean Care Club Series Book 1, Lisa Chavis & Cheryl MacDonald

Since 2007, Florida-based authors Lisa Chavis and Cheryl MacDonald have explored the world by house-sitting and becoming part of a community. A purple stuffed octopus serves as their mascot and appears in many of their travel photos.

Ms. Chavis and Ms. MacDonald care about the planet and seek ways to make it better. Through Priscilla, the Practically Perfect Purple Octopus, and the Ocean Care Club, the authors educate young readers about the problem of plastics in the ocean.

The first in a series, Priscilla and friends confront the Plastic Pirate and teach the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling plastics. At the end of the book, readers can join the Ocean Care Club by taking a pledge and printing out a certificate. Learn more at Facebook.com/PriscillasFun.

Mary Margaret Manatee

Lucy Tobias

The colorfully illustrated book, featuring artwork by Ms. Tobias, follows the adventures of a young Florida manatee and her land-based and aquatic friends. She doesn’t look like the other manatees — and that’s OK because she’s comfortable with being herself.

Mary Margaret Manatee educates readers on how to save the manatee and encourages children to think about how they can preserve their local environment and the value of persistence. Within the pages is a Florida manatee study guide section with resources, trivia and other fun activities. The book is also available in Spanish. Learn more at LucyTobias.com.

Now more than ever, Floridians are concerned about the health of the state’s environment and water quality. Share what you love with today’s youth so it will be here tomorrow.

Jennifer A. Huber is just your average 40-something-year-old gal living life solo and writing about her travels on her blog, SoloTravelGirl.com. Listen to her adventures near and far on the award-winning Solo Travel Girl podcast.


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