Friday, May 1, 2020

Be a Friend to Ocean!

Summer is on its way. It just seems to be taking a … summer vacation? … before it gets here. In the meantime, while we wait for beaches to open, we can visit the ocean through the magic of books. So today’s theme is: Ocean, ecology, animals

Ocean! Waves for All 
by Stacy McAnulty; illus. by David Litchfield
40 pages; ages 4 - 8
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), 2020

Dude, I am OCEAN. You know me by many names: Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, Indian, Southern….

But if you look at a globe you realize that salty water flows across the planet as one huge OCEAN. The cool thing about Ocean is that they have no flag, no nationality. Those waves you see from the shore – they are waves for all.

What I like about this book: I love the fun and sassy way author Stacy McAnulty presents some basic ocean facts. Though, the dude does get a bit braggy at times… mentioning their records (home to Earth’s biggest animal). And I love the way Stacy shows Ocean’s “deep, layered soul” by introducing the different zones of the ocean’s water.

And yes! There is back matter that includes fun ocean facts, suggestions on how to be a friend to Ocean, a cool new word: thalassophile, and an interview with OCEAN,

Stacy graciously answered One Question by email earlier this week:

Archimedes: Since you include a fun Q&A with Ocean at the back of the book, I'd like to pose one of those questions to you: Would you rather swim with a whale or a shark?

Stacy: A whale, for sure! And a narwhal if I had a choice.

Extreme Ocean: Amazing Animals, High-Tech Gear, Record-Breaking Depths, and More 
by Sylvia Earle and Glen Phalen
112 pages; ages 8 - 12
National Geographic Children's Books, 2020

 National Geographic Explorer Sylvia Earle takes readers on an adventure from the vibrant ocean shallows to the deep, dark mysteries of the seafloor. She introduces us to unusual creatures and their habitats, tosses in some hands-on experiments, and offers advice on what we can to do save an ocean in trouble.

What I like about this book: I like how each spread focuses on a specific aspect of the chapter’s topic. In the first chapter, where we learn about oceans, one spread asks “What good is the ocean?” The chapter about life in the ocean includes features on coral reefs, whales, seaweeds, even sharks. Activities include modeling ocean waves, designing a fish, engineering a submersible, and more. And I love the list of 10 things we can all do to save our oceans. Plus there are even more resources at the back!

Beyond the Books:

Are you a thalassophile? If so, list the traits that make you one. If not – hey! have you even looked up the definition yet? I mean, how can you not be?

Go on a field trip into the ocean. If you aren't able to go to an ocean or an aquarium, you can explore the ocean with this virtual field trip.

No matter where you live, you can do something to be a friend to Ocean. It might be reducing the amount of plastic you use, or cleaning up a beach. Make a list of 3-5 things you can do to keep Ocean healthy. Here’s a list of ideas if you need some brainstorming help.

Stacy is a member of #STEAMTeam2020. You can find out more about her at her website.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. ARCs and review copies provided by the publishers.


  1. I read the first paragraphs of your review and went straight to Amazon to add to my wishlist for the many upcoming great grandchildren and newphew and niece birthdays. This book has character too -- love it! Didn't realize that this book is the fourth in the series! Love to share books on ecology. Thank you!

  2. I love all the NatGeo Kids books. This one looks great. Ocean! Waves for All looks really cute. I will have to check it out. Thanks for the post. Stay well.

  3. Great combination of books. I recently heard a bit about Ocean! in a webinar and now I really want to look at it. Thanks.