The Children’s Book Review | September 16, 2019
The ocean is one of the most mesmerizing aspects of our planet and these three picture books are the perfect way to journey underwater and into the ocean with young readers—no swimming lessons required (although highly recommended, of course). Whether your kids have a fascination with ocean animals or coral reefs or simply the salty water, these books are sure to enthrall all and inspire promising marine biologists and environmentalists.
Written by Kate Messner
The great coral reefs of our oceans are dying. What once was home to millions of creatures throughout the ocean are now shriveling and falling away to dust and sand.
Ken Nedimyer saw this. As a boy he ventured out into the water, swimming with the fish and admiring the vast coral reefs off of his home state of Florida. We follow Ken, our real-life protagonist, as he grows to love the ocean (even filling his bedroom with more than 30 saltwater tanks!) and explores even further. But Ken grows up and finds that the coral reefs are dying. What was once bursting with life is now white-washed and brittle.
Grown-up Ken now has his own business growing live rocks underwater, and he discovers something amazing. A nearby coral colony spawned and implanted themselves onto Ken’s rocks. They grew and grew, and Ken and his daughter had a wonderful idea: to take those pieces of coral and attach them to dying coral in the ocean. Today, Ken’s group of volunteers is helping the world’s dying coral reefs find their way back to life.
Full of promise, this gorgeous book takes an environmentalism concept and turns it into a heroic, breathtaking journey. Illustrator Matthew Forsythe’s dreamy, evocative illustrations bring the beauty of the ocean to life. Soothing and rhythmic prose tells Ken’s story like a far-away tale of heroic adventure. Author Kate Messner takes the true story of Ken Nedimyer and his Coral Restoration Foundation and turns it into a story worth retelling over and again. By the end of the book, children will be clamoring to learn more about ways to help Ken, his foundation, and the environment.
Books covering environmental topics can often be harsh and sad, but this story is filled with hope … showing coral reefs are being rebuilt, one tiny coral colony at a time. And it all started with the fascination and love of a little boy who grew into a man who couldn’t bear to live without the ocean’s coral.
An exciting and uplifting book, with joyful, stunning illustrations. Highly recommended.
Ages 6-9 | Publisher: Chronicle Books | May 8, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1452133508
Written and Illustrated by Yuval Zommer
In the third installment of Yuval Zommer’s BIG BOOK series, THE BIG BOOK OF THE BLUE takes children on a fantastic ride through the world’s majestic oceans.
Turn the book on its side and begin with a look at what kinds of animals live in the ocean. From mammals and mollusks to fish and reptiles, there is a slough artfully rendered sea creatures swimming by. Zommer’s unique style combines realistic details with whimsical renditions of the ocean. Squinty-eyed fish play near whales with wide, toothy grins. Slashes of color and whirls of musical notes bring the whale’s songs to life. And through all the magical scenes is the expert knowledge of sea-life expert Barbara Taylor and her seriously interesting facts.
This oversized book is a fully-immersive experience, inviting children to turn the book to different angles, to look for a sneaky sardine hiding on the pages, and for beautiful details hidden in each page. THE BIG BOOK OF THE BLUE is a remarkably exciting adventure that harnesses the grandness of the ocean. An excellent gift for the ocean enthusiast in your life!
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Thames & Hudson | June 5, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0500651193
Written and Illustrated by Lucie Brunellière
This incredibly unique oversized board book takes children on a submarine ride through some of the world’s most exciting oceans.
Splash! Down slips the submarine into clear teal waters. Stylized schools of vibrant fish zag around curious dolphins as the journey through the ocean begins. After exploring the ocean floor and the deep abyss, a storm hits. The tiny silver submarine is rocketed to cool polar waters to float amongst curious belugas and unicorn-horned narwhals. It’s a grand, but gentle, adventure for the little silver submarine as it discovers the beauty of the ocean world.
With fantastic vibrant colors – think teal and neon pink set against calming ocean blue and dazzling navy-black – this enormously fun board book is a true adventure. The spot-gloss details on the cover and the foil-silver submarine catch the attention of even the youngest readers. But older siblings will be grabbing for turns with this gorgeous book before bedtime. The publisher also offers a free soundtrack online featuring ocean sounds. What an exciting treat for all of the senses!
Ages 3-5 | Publisher: Harry N. Abrams | May 28, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1419733567
The article 3 Stunning Kids Books About the Ocean was curated by Denise Mealy. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Non-Fiction, Ocean Animals, Ocean Science, Oceans, and Picture Books.
We may receive a small commission from purchases made via the links on this page. If you discover a book or product of interest on this page and use the links provided to make a purchase, you will help support our mission to 'Grow Readers.' Your support means we can keep delivering quality content that's available to all. Thank you!