The Mess That We Made

Written by Michelle Lord
Illustrated by Julia Blattman

Join four children in a little boat as they discover the magnitude of The Mess That We Made. With rhythmic language and captivating art, this cumulative tale portrays the terrible impact of trash on the ocean and marine life, inspiring us to make changes to save our seas.

Includes a back section with facts about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, ocean pollution, and Calls to Action for kids and grown‑ups to share.
Click here for sources used in the back matter of The Mess That We Made.


Early Praise for The Mess That We Made

From Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation and founder of Change for the Blue
“Our lives depend on the ocean. Fish consume our waste and then end up on our dinner plates. I hope that this beautifully illustrated book will serve as a tool to pass on the importance of the ocean to future generations and beyond.”

From Briggette Dusart, Cleaner Ocean Foundation
“This outstanding story superbly visualizes pollution problems with art that hits the spot….It is sure to inspire our young conservationists-in the-making to work toward a sustainable ocean environment.”

From Anthony Saner, Director of ReefCI (Reef Conservation International)
“Great book! Inspires a love for stewardship of the ocean in today’s youth so that the next generation will not repeat The Mess That We Made. There is always hope in the next generation, a hope that they will create a healthier, more sustainable ocean.”

About the Creators

Michelle Lord is the author of several books for children including Paterson Prize Honor Book A Song For Cambodia, Nature Recycles, and Animal School: What Class Are You? She lives with her family in New Braunfels, TX.




Julia Blattman works as a visual development artist for Paramount Animation, and has created art for Disney and for Dreamworks TV.  Julia loves bringing stories to life with her artwork. She lives in Los Angeles, CA, and this is her first picture book.

ISBN: HC 9781947277144/ ePDF 9781947277151 / EPUB 9781947277168 / KF8 9781947277175
Print Length: 32 Full Color Pages
Publication Date: Jan 2020 
Age Group: 4-8