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The Miscellaneous Club > June 2018: Ocean Life

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message 1: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited May 31, 2018 08:11PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2601 comments Mod
June 8 is World Ocean Day, so this month we will read about creatures that inhabit the oceans. This could be dolphins, whales, seals, fish, sharks, octopuses, squid, cuttlefish, or any other creature that fascinates you.

A couple of general books are:
My little book of ocean life
The Invisible World of Ocean Life
Eyewitness Ocean

There are also many books about specific animals; here are only a few to consider:
The Great White Shark Scientist
The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk
Sea Turtles' Race to the Sea: A Cause and Effect Investigation
The Dolphins of Shark Bay
Face to Face with Manatees
Face to Face with Sharks
Face to Face With Whales

These are just a few suggestions, and there are lots more books out there. Happy reading!


message 2: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6849 comments Mod
I did just read Jellies, and as I said in my review, though it's very concise and simple enough for tots, I did learn from it.

I'll try to make time to read something about octopuses, at least. Since reading Sy Montgomery's The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness I've been interested in these amazing animals. And she's a great author who does write for children as well as for adults.


message 3: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8839 comments Mod
Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea

Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea, written and illustrated by Steve Jenkins, truly is a superlative marriage of text and image (I would go so far as to call it a perfect or nearly perfect example of what a successful non-fiction picture book should encompass). Featuring an informative narrative, although elaborate and textually dense, this book still manages to be both engaging and descriptive, with brightly colourful, realistic cut-paper collage illustrations providing a visually stunning mirror of the narrative, both complementing and at times even expanding on the textual information, the details presented.

The voyage down, down, down into the abyss, through the different levels of the Pacific Ocean (specifically the Marianas Trench, the Challenger Deep, at 35, 838 feet or 10, 923 meters the deepest spot in the world's oceans) both reads and feels like an informative travel-log, a voyage in a submarine through different ocean strata, past predators and prey (all described and depicted in minute, but always engaging and informatively interesting detail). And while I would generally consider Down, Down, Down more of a book for older children (even teenagers and adults would likely find the information presented intriguing and absorbing), I do think that younger children would also enjoy poring over, perusing the intricate, realistically detailed illustrations (although with a caveat that very sensitive children might find some of the more bizarre denizens of the ocean deep creepy and perhaps even possibly frightening).

This would be a wonderful addition to any bookshelf and is suitable for both at home and in-class study and use. The excellent supplemental information at the back, as well as the small, but up-to-date bibliography, increase both the teaching and learning possibilities of this superb gem of a picture book, allowing for discussions, research projects, in-class presentations. Highly, highly recommended.


message 4: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8839 comments Mod
Mister Seahorse

With a simple, informative text, combined with Eric Carle's magical, colourful illustrations (I love all of them, but I think my favourite is the depiction of the lion fish hiding among the coral reefs), this absolute gem of a picture book demonstrates in a fun, but educational manner that especially in the ocean, it is often the male of the species that hatches and watches over the eggs, the new generation. Recommended for young children interested in science, sea creatures, ecology, Mister Seahorse is simple and fun enough to be understood and appreciated by most toddlers, but involved, detailed and busy enough to be enjoyed by slightly older children as well (up to and including ages five or six, perhaps even seven or eight). Perfect for a read aloud at home or the library, this book would also work well in a preschool or grade one classroom, perhaps as part of a unit on science, ecology, or even the family (stressing the fact that in the ocean, it is often "Mister Seahorse" and other males which take care of and protect the offspring).


message 5: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8839 comments Mod
Into the Sea

With a gently flowing text (and from a rhythmic consideration actually somewhat and pleasantly reminiscent of the movement of the tides, of ocean currents) Into the Sea (written by Brenda Z. Guiberson and illustrated by Alix Berenzy) traces the life of one sea turtle, from the time she hatches in a sandy beach nest, until she returns, after more than twenty long years in the ocean, to the very beach where she was originally hatched, to lay her own cache of eggs in the sand. Both informative and engaging, Guiberson's narrative presents not only the general life cycle of sea turtles, but also points out the many potential threats (both natural and man-made) these beautiful and gentle creatures often encounter and endure. And with this salient truth in mind, I really do much appreciate the fact that the author has chosen to present a balanced and realistic text, that while the dangers sea turtles experience from human activity, such as fishing, are of course and appreciatively prominently featured, it is also made more than clear that sea turtles, but especially newly hatched and very young sea turtles also face many threats from natural predators (sharks, crabs, barracudas etc.). Guiberson's narrative clearly, but always gently demonstrates that especially the lives of very young sea turtles are fraught with constant potential peril. From the hundreds of eggs a sea turtle lays in the sand, it is generally only very few hatchlings that manage to survive to one day return to lay their own eggs in the sand of their birth beach.

The excellent author's note is an added and appreciated bonus, much increasing both learning and and teaching value/potential of Into the Sea, as it thoroughly (but always gently and unobtrusively) introduces the concept of endangerment and extinction (for animal species in general, but of course specifically with regard to sea turtles). While sea turtles have always faced multiple natural perils (which has been abundantly demonstrated with and by Guiberson's narrative), human predation and even the inadvertent consequences of human activity (fishing, beach-combing, resorts and hotels built on or near nesting beaches) have now critically endangered many species. And although sea turtles and their eggs are today often protected by law, they still face threats from habitat loss, poaching and commercial fishing. I would consider Into the Sea appropriate and useful for both younger and older children. Although the text itself is dense in content and rather extensive even, it does read easily and smoothly enough and should therefore not really cause problems of comprehension for children above the age of four or five (especially if the book is being read to them or with them). The author's note at the back, however, is definitely a bit more involved and fact-heavy, a bit more advanced in scope, and thus perhaps more suitable for older readers (or older listeners).

Alix Berenzy's bold and vivid illustrations provide a successful and fitting complement to Guiberson's text, both enhancing and expanding the reading experience. In a classroom setting, I could easily imagine the illustrations (even without the text) being of use for teaching children about the various denizens of the ocean and the seaside (from the crabs on the beach to the sponges, moray eels, clown fish etc. that inhabit a coral reef). And the featured sea turtle is, of course, the absolute and undenied star of both narrative and illustrations, realistically and beautifully (even emotionally) depicted by Berenzy. Into the Sea combines both text and illustrations into a wonderful teaching and learning tool, a colourful and engaging story, but also an evocative and engaging account that will hopefully inspire children (and perhaps also their caregivers, their teachers) to help preserve the often fragile and easily destroyed, easily damaged natural beauty of the worlds' ocean ecosystems.


message 6: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8839 comments Mod
Coral Reefs

An effective and novel introduction to the nature and ecology of coral reefs, Coral Reefs which has been both written and illustrated by Jason Chin, is both engaging and informative, presenting not only general and specific information and details about coral reef communities and their environs, but also demonstrating the unfortunate fact, the unfortunate truth that coral reefs are not only vibrant and diverse marine communities, but that many of these communities are increasingly being endangered by and through human encroachment, overfishing, pollution, climate change etc.

Now the entire concept of Coral Reefs, of a young girl going to the library to read a book about coral reefs and then having both herself and her surroundings (her local library, her local city) literally become part of a coral reef community is quite visually stunning (and some of the illustrations, some of the scenes feel almost reminiscent of a lost city under the sea, like Atlantis). However, first and foremost, Jason Chin's gloriously bright, descriptive pictures provide not only a successfully rendered mirror of and to the presented narrative, they also reiterate one of the main messages, one of the main points of Coral Reefs, namely that coral reef communities are in many ways like huge, underwater cities. And like our own cities, these coral reefs, while vibrant, diverse, and constantly on the move, are also vulnerable and can be threatened by both natural and man-made, artificial phenomena. And finally, regard to age suitability, the actual text of Coral Reefs is pretty dense, wordy and rather involved, and I would therefore tend to recommend this book more for older children above the age of six or even seven. For while I do in fact believe that even younger children would likely enjoy the brightly descriptive illustrations, the narrative flow is definitely a bit slow moving and detailed at times (and thus might be a bit distracting and difficult for the very young, not to mention that the featured threats encountered by coral reefs are or at least could be a bit hard for toddlers, for children up to the age of six or so to adequately fathom and comprehend).


message 7: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8839 comments Mod
A Pod of Orcas: A Seaside Counting Book (mostly for the illustrations, as the text is really simple, but one could easily use the illustrations to engage youngsters in discussions about ocean life and such).

Sheryl McFarlane's A Pod of Orcas: A Seaside Counting Book features and presents the numbers from one to ten, and then counts back from ten to one, displaying a sweetly poetic, but unfortunately also rather spare and slight text that while definitely more than adequate, is really and truly a trifle too simplistic to be considered in any manner spectacular (at least by me and for me). But that all having been said, the accompanying illustrations, well, they are truly absolutely and simply spectacular. Redolent of the colours, sights and light schemes of the ocean, the beach, the seashore, Kirsti Anne Wakelin's illustrations do not only complement Sheryl McFarlane's text, they really do massively augment and surpass it, leaving it, I am sorry to say, even a bit floundering (with a bit of a pun intended). And therefore, while young children will probably and indeed enjoy the simple numerically based poems as well as delight in practicing their numbers in a fun and ocean-themed manner, I do believe older children and perhaps even many adults will (and in my opinion should) be much more enchanted with and by the evocative seascapes. For Kirsti Anne Wakelin's illustrations not only show the sea, they are, they represent the sea in all its varying moods, colours and nuances (and looking at the pictures, I can in fact imagine not only the visual aesthetics of the sea, but also the sounds and smells of the ocean).


message 8: by Manybooks (last edited Jun 02, 2018 07:40AM) (new)

Manybooks | 8839 comments Mod
Not sure if one could consider Loud Emily as a a book on ocean life, but the scenario with the whales helping the ship is an interesting vehicle for discussion in my opinion (and the author's note about the history of whaling both enlightening and heartbreaking at the same time).

There is much to really, really love and appreciate with regard to Alexis O'Neill's Loud Emily. Both the story and the illustrations are wonderful, and the messages of Loud Emily itself are both encouraging and important. Emily's loud voice might make her unsuited for her genteel parents, her tutor, upper-class New England society in general. However, she feels right at home in the family kitchen, with the family cook and the so-called help. She and her naturally loud voice feel as awkward in her family's expensive, genteel, quiet drawing and school rooms as they feel natural in the family kitchen, and later, on board of the ship (Emily is hired because of her loud voice, but her voice is more than loud, it is melodious, rollicking, it keeps up the spirits of the sailors, and even ends up helping to save the ship in the end). Emily would have been supremely unhappy, she would have been miserable and bullied if she had gone to Miss Meekmeister's boarding school (the illustration of the little girl wearing a "too loud" type dunce cape demonstrates what life would likely have been like for Emily if she had ended up at boarding school).

Loud Emily shows the dangers and potential problems of rigidly placing individuals into preconceived niches. Emily is naturally loud and feels more comfortable with the family cook and later, in the company of the sailors on the ship, but her parents, her tutor, society in general cannot see that at first, they want to make Emily, turn Emily into something and someone she is not. Emily is in a way lucky that she cannot adapt, that her loud voice and boisterous nature are not able to simply be changed, to be tamed (for if she had been able to rein in her voice, her nature, she would likely simply have become a model little girl, a little girl who adapted to the strictures of society and class, who changed her very nature and soul to suit society). Now I know that Loud Emily is a more than a bit fantastical and that Emily's constant loud voice is a bit of an exaggeration (and if she were really that constantly loud, it could and would be rather hard on those around her). But as someone who has always felt very much out of place both in society in general, but especially in the bourgeois society of my parents, their friends and relations, this story has touched me deeply (I would have loved reading a story like Loud Emily when I was a little girl, a story with the message that being different from one's family, from society, from the strictures imposed by bourgeois idelas is not necessarily problematic, or that it should not automatically be problematic, that being yourself is valuable and acceptable).

Like my friend Abigail, I do have some rather major issues with one aspect Loud Emily. As a story, Loud Emily is of course somewhat of a fantasy, and therefore, I was originally rather enchanted by Emily's association with the whales and the fact that she sings with the whales and to the whales (and that it isEmily and the whales who end up saving the ship and its crew). However, historically speaking, this is just too sadly anachronistic, too unbelievable (and in a way gives, or at least can give children the wrong idea about 19th century New England). For whaling was a huge industry in the 19th century, and ship voyages (even those not specifically meant to hunt for whales) certainly did not ever collaborate with the whales (no, whales were often hunted on sight, and in fact, whaling almost caused the extinction of many species of whales). And while I am actually glad that the author has chosen not to portray whaling as part of the storyline of Loud Emily, in my opinion, Alexis O'Neill should have just left it at that, she should just not have had any whales in the story, period. For although the whale episode of Loud Emily is definitely fantastical, the main point, the main seed of the story does seem to feel realistic enough, and Emily collaborating with the whales is therefore just too fantastical to believe and furthermore, paints an erroneous historical picture (that whales were not hunted, that they helped and were appreciated by the crews of 19th century ships). Yes, the author's note does indeed strive to rectify this potential misunderstanding to a point, but because there is no mention at all of whaling in Loud Emily itself, the author's note somehow seems a bit of an add-on, seems to not have all that much to do with either the narrative or the illustrations. However, that one problem notwithstanding, I do still highly recommend Loud Emily. It is most definitely a fun story with evocative and equally fun illustrations, while at the same time it is also a tale with a very hopeful and important message to anyone (child or adult) who has ever felt left out, who has ever felt like a bit of an alien in their surroundings.


message 9: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2601 comments Mod
Thank you for all your reviews, Gundula. I have read several of the ones you have expounded upon here, and also loved them.


message 10: by Manybooks (last edited Jun 04, 2018 01:45PM) (new)

Manybooks | 8839 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "Thank you for all your reviews, Gundula. I have read several of the ones you have expounded upon here, and also loved them."

Thank you Beverly! There definitely are some great picture books about the oceans and this sure is a great and oh so informative book club ...


message 11: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 2283 comments I will see nieces and nephews tomorrow and try to find out what they think the best books on ocean life are. Niece #1 will say anything about dolphins!


message 12: by Manybooks (last edited Feb 08, 2019 04:08AM) (new)

Manybooks | 8839 comments Mod
Just started reading The Burgess Seashore Book for Children and am loving this so far, sweet stories full of both lovely storytelling and information about the ocean and the seashore, not a lot of pictures, sometimes a bit dated, but I am enjoying it.

Well, I liked the book for about the first few pages, but then, yuck, it really started to bother me.

Although it I do realise that it does seem as though Thornton W. Burgess' The Burgess Seashore Book for Children is I guess considered somewhat of a children's literature classic, personally, I have found especially the author's writing style tediously monotonous and also frankly more than a bit weirdly and strangely unfitting for a book that at least content wise basically shows and presents mostly (and almost entirely) scientific facts about the seashore (birds, crustaceans, sea mammals etc.). For really, Thornton W. Burgess giving cute names and colourful, expressive monikers to the animals he is describing (Reddy Fox, Barker the Seal and so on and so on) and having all or at least many of them (the animals) engage in actual English language conversations with one another, to and for me that really dilutes and lessons the teaching and learning potential (the facts and data) of The Burgess Seashore Book for Children, leaving me personally simply frustrated and for the most part rather majorly bored to almost proverbial tears.

And therefore, while I do consider the actual contents of The Burgess Seashore Book for Children, while I do agree that what Thornton W. Burgess writes about the seashore (about herring gulls, clams, lobsters, seals and other wild denizens of the area) interesting enough on a purely factual level (and yes indeed also pretty well researched and seemingly scientifically sound), I honestly and truly (sadly) simply cannot in any way stand (or even somewhat appreciate), how Burgess has rendered and textually, narrationally shown and penned The Burgess Seashore Book for Children, considering it so mundanely tedious as well as artificially anthropomorphic in style and scope that while I am reading (or rather while I am trying to peruse) The Burgess Seashore Book for Children, I do not only have the tendency to yawn continuously, but I also have found this book rather a bit of an insult to my (and likely also children's) intelligence, as in my opinion, The Burgess Seashore Book for Children really does trivialise scientific seashore facts and proceeds to feature them in a type of talking animal fantasy tale that I for one totally and utterly find majorly annoying and frustrating (for honestly, if I want to read a fanatical book that has talking animal protagonists, I will choose a completely fictional novel such as Felix Salten's Bambi or Waldemar Bonsel's The Adventures of Maya the Bee, as if I am interested in reading ONLY scientific facts about the sea, about the shorelines and the animals that reside there, I for one absolutely would expect and want a simple science and totally non fiction based writing style showing this information and these details, and not a bunch of talking birds and other animals conversing amongst themselves and somehow acting like science teachers or tour guides).


message 13: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8839 comments Mod
Weird Sea Creatures

It is really too bad (and rather saddening in fact) that I cannot give Erich Hoyt's in many ways utterly amazing and oh so enlighteningly informative Weird Sea Creatures more than three stars, for if I were to consider Weird Sea Creatures from just its text and accompanying photographs, it would most definitely be a four if not even a five star read for me. Featuring both exceedingly informative but still always engaging and approachable printed words (including an extensive introduction that is indeed to intellectually die for, as it not only introduces the fifty so-called weird sea creatures of the deepest reaches of the ocean that are going to be presented, but author Erich Hoyt then also takes the time to explain that many of these denizens of the abyss are so newly discovered that they do not even as of yet have commonly accepted names and designations) and visually stunning (albeit at times almost a bit frighteningly uncanny accompanying photographs), a truly perfect marriage of informative, enlightening narrative and equally thus visual images emerges (with enough presented scientific details to be informative but never so much as to be overwhelming, although I do consider Weird Sea Creatures as most definitely and certainly a book for older children and teenagers, for readers above the ages of ten or eleven, as there is indeed quite a bit of advanced vocabulary used and the narrative is a bit wordy and dense).

However, my enjoyment and indeed my appreciation of Weird Sea Creatures notwithstanding and considering that this is an entirely science and as such also research based non fiction book for children (for older children), I personally cannot and will not forgive and forget that unfortunately and annoyingly, Erich Hoyt has chosen to include NO bibliographical information whatsoever (no suggestions for further reading, no footnotes and endnotes, basically nothing of the sort), a really and truly huge and problematic academic and intellectual shortcoming that totally and sadly very much lowers and limits the teaching, learning and especially the supplemental research value of Weird Sea Creatures (and something that I for one do NOT AT ALL understand, for I simply cannot fathom how and why Erich Hoyt would consider his in most other ways so excellent Weird Sea Creatures to be in any manner complete without a list of works cited and/or suggestions for further research and study). Still recommended, but really, without supplemental bibliographical details, Weird Sea Creatures at least to and for me is quite massively lacking (and indeed, while I also wish that Erich Hoyt had perhaps included a glossary and some visual aids as to where his presented animal species of the deep have been found, such as detailed maps, I can most definitely accept and handle the lack of a glossary and accompanying maps, but I just cannot stomach the lack of sources and bibliographical information).


message 14: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2601 comments Mod
Sea Turtles' Race to the Sea: A Cause and Effect Investigation by Kathy Allen
This was a good, but not outstanding book about sea turtles in general and the threats that they face. The different species of sea turtles are pictured on one page, along with their endangered status. There are very good photographs throughout the book. Although it is only 32 pages, it is not really a picture book, as the text is sort of lengthy and aimed at about 3rd through 6th grade readers. The book includes a glossary, an index, a short bibliography (3 titles), and one internet site suggestion (facthound.com, which vets safe internet sites for children).


message 15: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2601 comments Mod
Face to Face with Sharks by David Doubilet
This book had some awesome photos of great white shark jaws; although the authors were very careful to write that very few humans are attacked by sharks every year; while humans kill more than 100 million sharks every year. So, in addition to basic info about sharks, and a little info about different kinds of sharks, the authors also talk about the horrors of shark finning, and other ways that shark populations are being decimated. This book also is for grades about 3 - 6, and includes a glossary, short bibliography, web sites, one film, and an index.


message 16: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8839 comments Mod
If Sharks Disappeared

Because I am (and always have been) totally and utterly in favour of protecting and safeguarding our planet's often fragile ecosystems (and their animals, plants etc.) I very much and massively do appreciate that author/illustrator Lily Williams with her If Sharks Disappeared so clearly and succinctly (but without emotional over-exaggeration) points out what could so easily (and even more than likely relatively rapidly) transpire extinction-wise if sharks (as an example of an apex predator species) were to suddenly disappear altogether from the Earth's oceans, if they became totally extinct (and considering how vulnerable and in many cases even critically endangered many species of shark in fact are, this is in no way dystopian paranoia but a real and sadly dangerous possibility, and as such, If Sharks Disappeared provides an essential and important conservation message that absolutely needs to be increasingly heard and made more public on a pan global scale, especially considering the sheer quantities of sharks that are slaughtered every year for useless "cultural" practices such as shark fin soup).

And with regard to the author's, with regard to Lily Williams' presented narrative, well textually and from a thematic and content based point of view, I for one very much do consider If Sharks Disappeared rather amazing and marvellous, providing more than enough detail to be enlightening and informatively educational but thankfully never overdoing the info dumping so as to become tedious and slogging to and for the intended age group (children between the ages of say five to about eight) with potentially difficult vocabulary words also explained in a handy and informative glossary at the back, not to mention that the supplemental information on sharks and the threats many species are facing, as well as the short but concise and intensive bibliography are appreciated and wonderful added bonuses and much augment the teaching, learning and research value and potential of If Sharks Disappeared.

Now while narrationally If Sharks Disappeared has most definitely been a four (and perhaps even a five star) read for me, the accompanying illustrations, although they are indeed bright, descriptive and colourful, are also visually and aesthetically speaking rather overly cutesy (with especially many of the shark species looking quite non predatory and much too cartoon like entertaining and inherently peaceful). For although I do tend to heartily despise those books on sharks where ALL of the shark images appear as straight out of the movie Jaws, it is also important to remember, to show and depict that sharks, or rather that many species of shark are indeed and in fact serious predators and some of Lily Williams shark images in If Sharks Disappeared, well they really do NOT appear as such and thus do tend to leave me with a rather strange and a bit annoying sense of visual disconnect between text and accompanying images.


message 17: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6849 comments Mod
El Mar is fascinating & gorgeous. It's not bilingual, but I assume most readers could readily find an edition in a major language that they know. If you are a fan of this subject, you might want to buy your own copy of this book. So many exotic critters, so many detailed explorations. So many appendices & suggestions for further reading & research.

Most spreads are about the different kinds of life native to the sea, but there's also a lot about how explorers and scientists have gathered all this information, and about the sea in art and literature, and about the use & abuse of the resources we derive.

If I were able to have read this, I'd probably have given it four stars.


message 18: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (last edited Jun 08, 2018 06:32PM) (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6849 comments Mod
Lots of text, and plenty of pictures, for me to skim in Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion.

It's about lots more than just the floating island of plastic in the Pacific. But in that chapter is a provocative quote from Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer: "If you turned off the plastic switch somehow you still have plastic washing ashore here (Tern Island) for thirty or forty years (past 1999)."

(Btw, ppl, microfiber 'fabric' is actually plastic that sheds pellets that enter the food chain. Also, plastic is produced from oil. Don't jump on the microfiber bandwagon.)

Great book. All important appendices are included. And Ebbesmeyer is my new hero.


message 19: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2601 comments Mod
Thanks for your reviews, Cheryl. El Mar should also be available in English, as it is part of the Dorling Kindersley's (English publisher) Eyewitness series.


message 20: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8839 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "Face to Face with Sharks by David Doubilet
This book had some awesome photos of great white shark jaws; although the authors were very careful to write that very few h..."


Sounds like another to try book and one to also make me sad.


message 21: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 2283 comments I'm pretty sure my nieces and nephews have the Eyewitness Ocean book. We love Eyewitness books and they love the ocean.

I forgot to ask niece for her favorite books about dolphins but I will try to remember next time I see her.


message 22: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (last edited Jun 08, 2018 07:06PM) (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6849 comments Mod
The New Ocean: The Fate of Life in a Changing Sea looks really interesting.
Do any of you have this or anything similar by Bryn Barnard in your library?


message 23: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 2283 comments Cheryl wrote: "The New Ocean: The Fate of Life in a Changing Sea looks really interesting.
Do any of you have this or anything similar by Bryn Barnard in your library?"


Our system has this book and Dangerous Planet: Natural Disasters That Changed History, The Genius of Islam: How Muslims Made the Modern World, and a few others listed under different authors. Bryn Barnard must have contributed.


message 24: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6849 comments Mod
I'll have to consider asking my (new) library to buy The New Ocean, since it's apparently been considered worthy for yours.


message 25: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 2283 comments Cheryl wrote: "I'll have to consider asking my (new) library to buy The New Ocean, since it's apparently been considered worthy for yours."

Our state system buys just about everything for children. Most of what I want for adults they have too. The private library doesn't have any books by that author.


message 26: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (last edited Nov 03, 2018 04:20PM) (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6849 comments Mod
The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk

Long, for a book marketed to children, but wonderful and thorough for all ages. Even though I'm not particularly interested in ocean themes, I was excited to read this because I love works by Sy Montgomery. This is just as engaging & fun as I thought it would be. It's also very informative; not only did I learn a lot about octopuses, but I learned a lot about what it's like to be a naturalist,. There's such attention to details of how it feels to, for example, 'swim' in shallow water, or what strategies to use to find the octopuses, or how much is learned by negative results... I almost felt like I was there on this island near Tahiti with Sy, photographer Keith, and the teams.

And now I love the "Scientists in the Field" series ... what a great way to inspire kids to get into a career where they can have adventures, indulge their natural curiosity, and help save the world all at the same time. I particularly appreciate the 'meet the team' spreads ... whether you want an advanced science degree or you want to be a tech or divemaster, whether you want to work with the critters in the wild or you want to use computers or other technology, there's a career for you.

Complete appendixes, including 'thank yous' to the octopuses themselves.

I would absolutely buy this whole series for a school library or for a homeschooling association, and buy individual titles as my children expressed interest in them.


message 27: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6849 comments Mod
Turns out that the previous book for this topic that I enjoyed, Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion, is also part of this Scientists in the Field collection. Highly recommended!


message 28: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8839 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "I'll have to consider asking my (new) library to buy The New Ocean, since it's apparently been considered worthy for yours."

I just read The New Ocean: The Fate of Life in a Changing Sea, a very depressing but both massively informative, not to mention inherently important and essential book.

(view spoiler)


message 29: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2601 comments Mod
Life in a Coral Reef by Wendy Pfeffer
This is a very simple introduction to coral reefs in general. It is simple enough to read to young children, and can be read by second and third graders (and up) on their own. Has fantastic cut paper illustrations by Steve Jenkins.


message 30: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2601 comments Mod
The Great White Shark Scientist
I read this one today. This is excellent non-fiction writing for older kids, probably around 5th grade and older. It is part of the "Scientists in the Field" series. It has some excellent photos of great whites, as the scientist and his helpers go out in a boat to videotape and tag great white sharks, with the author and photographer tagging along.
One page is titled: "Sharks by the Numbers" and includes these interesting factoids:

Number of Americans killed by shark bite between 1984 and 1987: 4
Number of New Yorkers bitten by humans during the same period: nearly 1600

Number of Americans injured by toilets in one year (1996): 43,000
Number of Americans injured by buckets and pails in the same period: 11,000
Number of Americans injured by room fresheners in same year: 2,600
Number of Americans injured by sharks during same time frame: 13
Includes a bibliography, web resources, and an index.


message 31: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6849 comments Mod
Ah, yes, risk analysis; it's a hot topic in science these days, and deserves to be! Glad to see books for kids trying to get readers to learn to put things in perspective.


message 32: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8839 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Ah, yes, risk analysis; it's a hot topic in science these days, and deserves to be! Glad to see books for kids trying to get readers to learn to put things in perspective."

One of the issues I have had with so many non fiction books on sharks, even the ones that textually try to show that sharks are in fact not nearly as dangerous to humans as humans are to sharks, still often have cover images and photos that could have come straight form the movie Jaws and certain perpetuate the myth that sharks are inherently threatening and dangerous to and for humans as a species.


message 33: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6849 comments Mod
It's a problem. Gotta get the readers' attention, of course. But by supporting an inaccurate stereotype... tsk.


message 34: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8839 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "It's a problem. Gotta get the readers' attention, of course. But by supporting an inaccurate stereotype... tsk."

I know grrrr


message 35: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8839 comments Mod
Journey Into the Deep: Discovering New Ocean Creatures

If I were to only consider Rebecca L. Johnson's 2011 Journey into the Deep: Discovering New Ocean Creatures scientifically and with regard to how well the author describes the Census of Marine Life and the oh so very many new to science sea creatures found and catalogued during this global project, I would in all likelihood be granting a full five star rating (as both the presented narrative and the accompanying photographs are intellectually and visually a total and utter dream, with especially the author's printed words showing a very good and appreciated, helpful combination of necessary complexity of thematics and simplicity of word usage and style so as to sufficiently enlighten but not to unnecessarily overwhelm the intended audience, older children from about the age of nine onwards, not to mention that the source notes, the bibliographies and suggestions for further study and reading are the absolute icing on the cake here and do most definitely greatly augment the teaching and supplemental research potential of Journey Into the Deep: Discovering New Ocean Creatures).

However and the above all having been said, I do have to admit that I take a bit of personal umbrage at the rather casual and nonchalant attitude shown by author Rebecca L. Johnson towards the fact that in order to adequately study and analyse these creatures of the deep, in order to make and then manually organise these types of discoveries, sea animals such as jellyfish, comb jellies, zoo plankton, crustaceans etc. must be mined and harvested and then later preserved in alcohol, in other words, they need to more often than not be killed, they need to be captured and later destroyed (and while I do in fact more than understand why this needs to be done, there is at least in my humble opinion a rather callous authorial attitude of "oh well this is necessary to and for science" that I for one tend to find find more than a bit uncomfortable and indeed, I do therefore wish the author had shown a trifle more humility and less of a sense of this being simply necessary and therefore totally academically, scientifically excusable). Still, and for all that Journey Into the Deep: Discovering New Ocean Creatures remains highly recommended (but yes, even though I have much enjoyed both text and the many amazing photographs and have actually learned quite a lot myself, I do leave this book with a somewhat bitter taste remaining in my mouth and a sadness that in order to study the ocean and its creatures, we seemingly have to kill them and that we also do seem to think that this is both acceptable and even perhaps quite appropriate).

Oh and by the way, although I know that Journey Into the Deep: Discovering New Ocean Creatures is also available as an e-book, I would absolutely NOT RECOMMEND the digital version, as the printed words are so small that they are almost undecipherable (even if one tries to zoom in) and really, what use is a non fiction science book on the ocean if one cannot actually peruse the featured text with any kind of visual ease (and truth be told, I ended up having to purchase a hardcover version of Journey Into the Deep: Discovering New Ocean Creatures, as it was quite simply impossible for me to physically read the e-book edition on my iPad).


message 36: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2601 comments Mod
Manybooks wrote: "Journey Into the Deep: Discovering New Ocean Creatures

If I were to only consider Rebecca L. Johnson's 2011 Journey into the Deep: Discovering New Ocean Creatures scientifically and..."


Thanks for the review. I was able to get the book from my library, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about ocean creatures that I had not read about before.


message 37: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2601 comments Mod
The Orca Scientists by Kim Perez Valice
The Orca Scientists by Kim Perez Valice
This was an excellent book in the "Scientists in the Field" series, and was published this year (2018). The scientists are mainly studying pods of whales that live in the waters off Washington State, which they called the Southern Residents, and which mainly eat salmon. The author tells how the scientists conduct their studies, and how they are worried about the future of these particular orcas, partly because the salmon population seems to be decreasing.


message 38: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8839 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "Journey Into the Deep: Discovering New Ocean Creatures

If I were to only consider Rebecca L. Johnson's 2011 Journey into the Deep: Discovering New Ocean Creatures ..."


It is truly amazing how undiscovered the ocean still is.


message 39: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8839 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "The Orca Scientists by Kim Perez Valice
The Orca Scientists by Kim Perez Valice
This was an excellent book in the "Scientists in the Field" series, and was publis..."


That seems to be the case everywhere on the West Coast, from Alaska, through British Columbia and all the way down to Oregon, and the biggest culprit seems to be massive over-fishing.


message 40: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2601 comments Mod
The Whale Scientists: Solving the Mystery of Whale Strandings by Fran Hodgkins
The Whale Scientists Solving the Mystery of Whale Strandings by Fran Hodgkins

Although this book is a tad dated, being over a decade old now (published in 2007), it still has a lot of interesting information about how scientists are trying to figure out why whales strand themselves on beaches. It also has a chapter on how people try to help stranded whales. Includes lots of good photos and a few drawings. The author includes a list of sources, a glossary and an index.


message 41: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2601 comments Mod
Whaling Season: A Year in the Life of an Arctic Whale Scientist by Peter Lourie
Whaling Season A Year in the Life of an Arctic Whale Scientist by Peter Lourie

This was an interesting book about John Craighead George, who is a whale scientist, working in Barrow, Alaska, among the Inupiat who every spring and fall, catch, kill, and render bowhead whales. John and his coworkers have an agreement with the whale hunters to be able to get biologic samples from each whale for study, so they can determine the health of the whales. They also keep track of the number of whales, to make sure the whales are not threatened in numbers. Interesting factoid: John Craighead George is the oldest son of Jean Craighead George, Newbery award winning author.


message 42: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2601 comments Mod
Project Seahorse by Pamela S. Turner
Project Seahorse by Pamela S. Turner

This is a fascinating book about the scientists who are studying seahorses, mostly around the Philippines. The author also writes about the MPAs (Marine Protected Areas), that are sorta, kinda like national parks for the ocean. No one can fish or disturb the animals in the MPAs. These areas are helping all kinds of fish, as well as coral reefs, recover from over fishing and from those who use small bombs to kill fish faster (which also kills the coral reef). The author also interviewed one of the resident fishermen, showing how he fishes to support his family. Overall, very interesting and well-balanced.


message 43: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2601 comments Mod
Sea Turtle Scientist by Stephen R. Swinburne
Sea Turtle Scientist by Stephen R. Swinburne

As with the other "Scientists in the Field" books, Swinburne follows a female scientist who studies and advocates for sea turtles on a small Caribbean island called St. Kitts. She studies primarily leatherback sea turtles, but also a few other species, since six of seven species of sea turtle come ashore to lay there eggs on several Caribbean beaches. The information is interesting and the photos are terrific.


message 44: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2601 comments Mod
Sea Creatures by Seymour Simon
Sea Creatures by Seymour Simon

This beautiful book has less text in larger font, and is easier to read than the "Scientist in the Field" series. It is also briefer in the information and facts it includes. But the photos are stunning, especially the photo of diatoms. He includes info and photo for the Yeti crab and giant jellyfish. Includes glossary, index, and 3 websites.


message 45: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Sep 27, 2018 02:42PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2601 comments Mod
Wild Orca: The Oldest, Wisest Whale in the World by Brenda Peterson
Wild Orca The Oldest, Wisest Whale in the World by Brenda Peterson

This picture book has beautiful illustrations by Wendell MInor. Great introduction to young children about this whale pod in particular and orcas in general.


message 46: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8839 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "Wild Orca: The Oldest, Wisest Whale in the World by Brenda Peterson
Wild Orca The Oldest, Wisest Whale in the World by Brenda Peterson

This picture book has beaut..."


Pretty timely, considering the precarious state of the resident orcas in the Pacific North West!


message 47: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2601 comments Mod
Yes, I agree. And short enough to read to pre-school children.


message 48: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2601 comments Mod
Diving to a Deep-Sea Volcano by Kenneth Mallory
Diving to a Deep-Sea Volcano by Kenneth Mallory
Although published in 2006, this "Scientists in the Field" entry still has some interesting facts and beautiful photos. The scientists examine hydrothermal vents and the animals that live around them. They also go to the site of a recent (to them) volcanic eruption and study it for several years to see how the area changes in terms of what kind and how fast the various animals return to the area.


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