Setsuko and the Song of the Sea by Fiona Barker & Howard Gray, Japanese text by Hideaki Matsuya


Diving into the deep blue sea, Setsuko swims around and around, marvelling at the creatures alongside her. Sadly the fish are not the only things that catch her eye. The longer Setsuko swims the more litter she encounters – from plastic bags to old fishing nets, all of it is dangerous to marine life and the eco system that exists beneath the waves.

Setsuko is worried humans have forgotten that underwater life is precious and needs to be looked after if it’s to survive for many years to come.

When Setsuko befriends a whale, they share their love of the water and a song of the sea, the beautiful notes linger, urging them both to find their true path, whether on land or in the depths of the ocean. Can Setsuko encourage her friends to help clean up the sea? Can whale find his family as he ttavels farther away from shore and Setsuko?

This is a joyous story full of hope and wonder at the world in between the tides. Beautifully created by Fiona Barker with illustrations from Howard Gray and Japanese text provided by Hideaki Matsuya, this picture book is a fantastic reminder to all humans that our footprints in the sand are the only things we should leave at the beach.

I am delighted that 10% of the sale of this picture book will be going to The Marine Conservation Society, to aid in their tremendous effort to keep our seas safe for whale and all his friends.

Read Sarah Broadley’s interview with the creators of Setsuko and the Song of the Sea here.


Fiona Barker
Howard Gray
Tiny Tree Books

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