Little Wave and the Mission of Laura Hawksbill is the third in a series of adventure stories written and illustrated by Linda Joy. In this new adventure, Little Wave, Jiffer the sailboat and Obee the Albatross meet Laura Hawksbill, a sea turtle, and learn how beach development in the Merry Islands has impacted her ability to nest and care for her family. The friends band together to help the turtles find a new home.
Because the beach where the turtles were born is now lit up at night, and too well travelled, the turtles are worried about the safety of their nests. They want a new home. A pod of dolphins offer to introduce everyone to Omar the Octopus, a wise, mythic creature who lives deep in the ocean and has a knack for solving problems. This great spirit of the sea radiates positive energy and compassion. When they find him, he meditates and sees in his mind’s eye all the problems of the sea — the plastic bottles, the polluted run-off water and the greedy fishermen. He explains to Laura and her friends that there are very few turtle habitats left in the world, but if the turtles journey to a South Pacific island they will find a safe and beautiful new home.
Joy packs much information into this fast-paced story designed to educate young children about environmental issues and to inspire them to save the oceans and the many creatures of the sea. Her crayon illustrations are bright, but they appear child-like and more attention could be paid to defining and enlivening the main characters. For example, without more visual help, it may take a new reader to the series a moment to understand that Little Wave is actually a wave. Nonetheless, this is a welcome introduction to the plight of the Hawksbill turtle.