What do puns have to do with the environment? Lots, if you are rising fifth grader Merwan Robinson, who spent his summer writing, illustrating, and publishing – with help from his parents – the two-book series “Martha’s Vineyard Puns to Bring a Smile.”
His primary goal is to “start a PUN-demic where healing smiles are spread around the planet.”
But many of the illustrations and puns suggest a second goal, saving the planet. For example: “Our oceans deserve better protection. They are so kind and always wave.”
The information is “a little bit scary and maybe a bit creepy,” he warns, before explaining how the shark “can extend a jaw and snap the prey.”
Why does this matter? In a word, hope.
Though he’s barely 10, Merwan is already pitching in to protect the environment. After completing the books, he and his father, Walter Robinson, met with Collin Ward, assistant scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, to introduce the idea of a puppet show using Merwan’s sea creatures to educate children about the ocean.
His message isn’t just for kids, though. In fact, Merwan and his dad are hoping that, through a friend, the books reach former President Barack Obama, who recently celebrated his 60th birthday on Martha’s Vineyard, a Massachusetts island.
Speaking to everyone from preschoolers to presidents, on behalf of “Pure Seas the Sea Horse,” one of his sculptures, Merwan urges, “‘Sea’ if you might please kindly help ‘Pure Seas’ during this critical ‘sea’-son of planet earth’s history to ‘sea’-lect the best conservation choices for our oceans so they continue to happily wave to us in the future!”