How Cara Lost Her Color

Written By: Ali Miller

Illustrated by: Anastasia Yatsunenko

For Ages: 3 years and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: Coral Reefs, Pint-Sized Professor, Environmental Activism, Sustainability, Climate Justice, Ocean.


This story follows a coral polyp named Cara and her best algae friend Zoey. Cara and Zoey start to notice that the water is getting warmer around them, and the reef begins to get coral bleaching so Zoey has to leave. I like this book because it isn’t too scary for young readers, but it explains the severity of climate change in relation to reef health. There are a multitude of repercussions to climate change that we are just now recognizing the severity of, and coral reef health is one of them. Luckily, people are beginning to help reefs that experience bleaching, like what happens in the story.

I think this is a great book to begin educating young children about the ocean, and how what we do on land can impact lots of different ecosystems and marine life. I would have loved a resources page, or maybe a bit of additional information about what people living inland can do for coral reefs, but given at the age group this is designed for I can see why one wasn’t included. The illustrations are bright and engaging, and I hope that folx continue to learn about the ocean and what they personally can do to help the delicate ecosystems like coral reefs.

This book was kindly sent by the author, but all opinions are my own.

Ali Miller

As a student at the University of Hawaii Maui College, Ali spent four years studying marine biology and sustainable science management. She had the privilege of working at the Maui Ocean Center Aquarium as a marine naturalist for two years where she had the opportunity to educate thousands of guests about the importance of a healthy ocean ecosystem and the stewardship of its amazing marine life. She believes education that leads to awareness and action is the only way to save the ocean. In 2017, she decided to start writing a book to explain the process of coral bleaching in a way that children can understand and it’s been her life’s mission ever since. Her greatest wish is to inspire children to save the ocean and its beautiful coral reefs!

Anastasia Yatsunenko

Anastasia is an artist from Kiev, Ukraine. She has always thought of the ocean as an unexplored universe, and although she grew up far away form the water, she loved visiting the beach with her parents as a child.

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