Teach kids about coral reef pollution with “Peppy’s Coral Kingdom”

peppy's coral kingdom about coral reef pollutionCoral reef and coral reef bleaching are all in the news these days. Here’s a little ditty I wrote and illustrated, collaborating with College of Charleston and NOAA a few years ago.

The assignment: create a cute character who is a coral planula to educate kids about coral reef pollution and destruction.

LINK: Click here. Available in print ($9.99-$12.99) and Kindle ($2.99).

ABOUT:

Formatted as a comic book (24 pages), Peppy’s Coral Kingdom is an entertaining, visually rich way for kids ages 6-10 to learn about coral reef and pollution. Throughout the book, there are scientific factoids such as: Why do coral get sick? and What is an artificial reef? In Peppy’s Coral Kingdom, Peppy (a baby coral polyp) is homeless – she quickly needs to find out how to clean up an abandoned reef so that she can rebuild it with all her brothers and sisters and cousins to live there. During her quest, Peppy meets Queen Connie, a conch who was banished from the beautiful Natural Reef by the Royal Moray Eels, and her advisor, Brian the Brain Coral. Peppy is a smart little coral planula. She and her friends must also convince the Land Sharks that coral reefs are important because they protect land from destructive waves created by storms and earthquakes. Scientists believe that dying coral reefs are the first indicator of a permanently changing world ecosystem. If the water warms up and reefs die, then all other living things on the planet may not have much time left either…

peppys coral kingdom coral reef pollution for kids

Peppy, a coral planula

I am reposting this post to add some of the educational facts I have included throughout the book. The book is full page color bleed, 8″x10″, 24 pages, packed with a story, illustrations and scientific facts.

Factoids

Why do coral get disease? Coral diseases occur in response to biological stresses, including bacteria, fungi protozoans and possibly viruses. Coral diseases can also be caused by physical and chemical stresses such as increased sea surface temperatures and ultraviolet radiation and pollution.

pilot fish in peps coral kingdom about reef pollution

Pilot Fish

What is an artificial reef? An artificial reef is a man-made structure on the bottom of the ocean where fish and coral will come to live. Many reefs are sunken ships and old tires; sometimes they are put in the ocean on purpose to attract fish for fisherman. This can be counter-productive in that paints and other debris from the structure may cause pollution in the reef.

What is coral bleaching? Elevated water temperatures cause corals to bleach. Bleaching means that the algae that lives inside the coral dies, leaving the coral looking pale or white. Although long-term exposure to elevated temperatures can lead to coral death, bleached corals can recover it the temperature returns to normal levels within a few days.

More Educational Information

Coral reefs are some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Thousands of species rely on reefs for survival. Thousands of communities all over the world also depend on coral reefs for food, protection and jobs. NOAA’s National Ocean Service is involved in research and efforts to conserve these important ecosystems.

Healthy coral reefs provide income, habitat, recreation, medicines and coastal protection.

Page 5 of Peppy’s Coral Kingdom

page 5 of peppys coral kingdom book

page 5