Our earth’s surface is about 71% water and 29% land, yet much of our seas have barely been explored. Life in the Ocean is the true story of Sylvia Earle, an oceanographer and activist. While the book is about how she fell in love with the sea at an early age, it is also a message that we need to take better care of our oceans.
The start of the book tells of Earle’s early life in New Jersey and her natural curiosity that developed while she was living on an old farm. Earle investigated the world around her and studied nature and animals. A move to Florida and a pair of swim goggles showed her the amazing life that lived in the ocean and would forever change her life.
The book then takes a quick turn by briefly describing Earle’s achievements. Between being the only woman doing the kind of research that she was involved in to developing equipment that would allow her to dive deeper in the water, she was obviously an important force in her field. I would have liked to have seen this developed more, but that is where the book becomes less of a biography and more of a book about the ocean and its future.
The remainder of the book focuses on Earle’s underwater exploration and her experiences. Readers get to see her swimming with whales who observed her as much as she observed them. They also see how she spent two weeks underwater in a deep-sea station that allowed her to watch the change over from day to night and see the similarities between sea creatures and humans.
Finally, the book makes it’s point – we must take care of our oceans. Sylvia Earle continues to work as an Oceanographer but she also speaks out for the ocean and founded Mission Blue to do the same thing. Author Claire Nicola ends the book with the point that if we understood the ocean world better, we would take better care of it.
Life in the Ocean is an interesting book with an important message. This is the kind of nonfiction picture book aimed at readers 9+ who are starting to understand their role in saving our planet.
Every Wednesday I try to post a non-fiction picture book as part of the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy. There are truly so many amazing nonfiction picture books being published these days, it can be hard to contain myself sometimes. Make sure to check out Kid Lit Frenzy and the linked blogs to find some more fabulous books!