In support of “Plastic Free July” and as part of its book launch series, SBMM will be hosting a reading and family activity for the children’s book Makana is a Gift. This community event will take place on Saturday, July 1, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. on the museum’s patio. The cost is free, but space is limited.
Makana is a Gift is a new children’s book that is available in English and bilingual (Spanish-English) versions. With vibrant, life-like illustrations of the undersea world, it tells the story of a young green sea turtle who has spent six years swimming from a nest hundreds of miles away to a new home in Turtle Cove. He meets and learns about the other inhabitants of the cove including a wise elder turtle named Kato, an octopus, and starfish. He wishes he could swim with a school of fish or fly with the gulls soaring overhead, and he begins to wonder who and why he is, and what his name and unique purpose might be. One morning, he mistakenly eats a plastic bag and must seek help to survive this all-too-common, life-threatening experience.
The turtle learns that all creatures are needed to help and care for each other, and he too has a unique and essential purpose—that life is a gift and so is he. In Hawaiian, Makana means gift, and thus he receives his name. Through Makana’s experiences, children learn about a sea turtle’s life, their ancient legacy, significance, and symbolism as well as explore themes of identity, belonging, and the call to protect our oceans.
Makana is a Gift is recommended for children ages 4-8, and received a 2022 Book of the Year award from Creative Child Magazine in the category of Nature and Conservation. It is published by Seven Seas Press, a local women-run nonprofit, that creates and donates award-winning English and bilingual children’s books with diverse characters and messages of compassion and hope to support youth literacy by building home libraries for families with limited resources. Through generous donations and community support, they have donated over 1,000 books, locally and internationally in just five years.
Janet Lucy, M.A. is an award-winning writer and poet, who has authored and co-authored numerous books. She is the author of three award-winning children’s books in English and Spanish – The Three Sunflowers (Los Tres Girasoles), Mermaid Dreams (Sueños de Sirena), and Makana is a Gift (Makana es un Regalo). In addition, she has also been a contributor to Mothering, Mamalode, Natural Solutions, The Sun, Skirt!, and Real Travel magazines.
Janet, who holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Antioch University and a California teaching credential from the University of California at Santa Barbara, has been carrying a sea turtle story in her heart for years and has finally brought it to life. She is the Founder/Director of Women’s Creative Network (WCN) in Santa Barbara, California, a consulting business emphasizing intuitive, creative, and professional development through writing. Janet also offers individual consulting and counseling, weekly writing groups, a guided writing course (“Divine Ink—Illuminating the Heroine’s Journey), and local and international writing retreats in Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, and Italy (Tuscany and Sicily). She is also the Communications Director at Seven Seas Press, a Santa Barbara nonprofit publishing company (https://sevenseaspress.org).