Artist Mark Heckman and writer Mark Newman joined forces to tell the story of Billy Cooper, an environmental superhero who does everything in his power to safeguard the Great Lakes from his headquarters in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

sea lamprey

Their book, Sooper Yooper: Environmental Defender, and subsequent tour is designed to educate and entertain kids about the importance of protecting our natural resources. Their message is simple: when it comes to the environment, everyone can be a superhero!

Buoyed by the success of the book and tour, Newman has published a sequel,
Sooper Yooper: The Quest of the Blue Crew, to address growing environmental concerns. A third book is planned for fall 2016. Click on “The Sequel” and “Tour Schedule” pages for more details.

Also, thanks to the support of the Wege Foundation and a partnership with the Grand Rapids Art Museum, students age 5-18 will be able to participate in Sooper Art 2016, a competition designed expressly for kids but with an environmental twist. More than $5,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to a total of 48 students in the sixth annual contest. See details on the “Sooper Contest” page.

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