Oceans

Our earth is covered by both land and ocean. As humans, we live on the land as and we share it with all manner of creatures big and small. In some ways we also live on the sea – I for example live in the United Kingdom, an island in the sea. Beyond this lie the enormous oceans we see in pictures or from boats from planes as we travel. These seas and oceans are also teeming with life – sea life. Creatures big and small live here too, and it is some of their stories and homes that we are looking at in this blog with three ocean themed books.

As always, these books are abounding with vibrant colour, telling wonderful stories or giving fascinating facts. But we should not take this or what they have to tell us for granted – they are able to entertain and educate us because we have an ocean and we have sea life, both need to be protected and we can all play a part in ensuring this.

All of which brings me perfectly to my first book, Little Turtle and the Changing Sea (Little Tiger). Becky Davis explains that her inspiration for the story were her camping trips to Cornwall as a little girl, and in particular a trip to Newquay where she was lucky enough to meet a turtle! Sadly, she was only able to meet him because he had been rescued from the nets of fishermen. This inspired Becky to learn more about how our oceans are being damaged with the pollutants – plastic in particular – that are finding their way into our oceans. This delightful and touching story shows us how we can make the sea safer for turtles, keeping them safe and preserving the wonderous nature of their habitat. The illustrations provided by Jennie Poh not only fill the pages with colour but also help us to visualize this underwater world in all its beauty and hopefully encourage us to protect it.

Not only is the sea a place of wonder for our eyes, but also for the creatures who live there. Just as we are often stunned by what we see around us and dream of adventures we could have, so do sea creatures! This is what Peter Bently and Riko Sekiguchi show us in Where the Sea Meets the Sky. Peter Bently wrote the words to this story for Hachette Children’s Books Carmelite Prize which gives illustration students aged 18 and over the opportunity to illustrate a story without knowing who the author was! The result is now finished and published. The story centres on sea otter Sophie and her mum who go on an adventure to see if they can find, what there is where the sea meets the sky. The simply delightful and gentle watercolour illustration beautifully complements the softness of the story and transports us on the journey of a lifetime through vast waves, past enormous monsters, sharks, whales, schools of fish and more besides. It helps us feel safe and secure, but at the same time adventurous. This is a story which encourages us to be brave, to explore and to enjoy reading too.

My last choice for this blog offering is Amazing Islands, 100+ Places That Will Boggle Your Mind. My first question was how could 100 islands fit into one book? But this has been very cleverly done... We begin with some introduction to what makes an island and why they are important before we are taken on a tour. First, there are river islands – did you know that there are islands in rivers where sand or sediment has built up? We are also shown prison islands, mystery islands and islands that form specific countries. A fold out world map along with detailed but accessible illustration bring every island to life and will fill the reader with fascinating fact. Researched, written and illustrated by Sabrina Weiss & Kerry Hyndman, published by What on Earth Books this is a must-add book for the non-fiction bookshelf.

Are there any books about water, oceans, seas or the creatures that live in them or on their islands that you could recommend to us to read? We would love to hear from you!

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