Today I’ve got six beauties awash in the mysteries and splendors of all things ocean. Grab some ship’s biscuit and a mug of grog…or apple cider as the case may be…and enjoy the ride!
Ocean: A Visual Miscellany, text by Ricardo Henriques, illustrations by André Letria
published in 2018 by Chronicle Books
This handsome volume plunges into all things oceanic, from watercraft to marine life, sailors’ knots to explorations to tales from the deep.
Each two-page spread is studded with short, informative segments accompanied by striking, rugged artwork, all tempting us to delve deeper into a wide array of subject matter.
There are also several pages of related activities making this a great choice for homeschool units. It’s a wonder-filled volume for curious folks ages 6 and up.
Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere, written by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Katherine Roy
published in 2018 by Little, Brown and Company
In the hands of a brilliant biographer and a talented artist, this book was certain to amaze us, and sure enough, it does!
Trace the lives and work of two curious, courageous guys — engineer Otis Barton and explorer Will Beebe as they design and then travel to the depths of the sea in a hollow metal ball called the Bathysphere. In 1930. Despite mortal danger!
Riveting, exceptionally well told and illustrated, with extensive author and illustrator notes to add to our understanding. Ages 5 and up.
Flying Deep: Climb Inside Deep-Sea Submersible ALVIN, written by Michelle Cusolito, illustrated by Nicole Wong
published in 2018 by Charlesbridge
Zoom forward to the present and see what advances oceanographers have made since that first bathysphere. The Alvin is a deep-sea submersible which three people can cram into to descend to downright freaky depths.
And what will you find there? Join a team on an expedition and experience it for yourself in this intriguing account.
Enormously appealing illustrations and extensive author and illustrator notes add to our knowledge. Another gem for ages 5 and up.
The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs, written by Kate Messner, illustrated by Matthew Forsythe
published in 2018 by Chronicle Books
Now, ditch the capsules and scuba into the waters with Ken Nedimyer who grew up in Florida and has been captivated by the ocean waters since he was a young boy.
Discover with him the collapse of coral reefs over a frighteningly short time and then — hurrah! — Nedimyer’s extraordinary, surprising, blossoming solution, now being implemented through his Coral Restoration Foundation around the world.
Lovely, engaging, and hopeful, for ages 5 and up.
The Sinking of the Vasa: A Shipwreck of Titanic Proportions, written by Russell Freedman, illustrated by William Low
published in 2018 by Henry Holt and Company
Next, take a journey in history to 1600s Sweden, a time when Sweden was a European powerhouse. King Gustav orders a ship to be built like none other before her, a mighty splendor designed to captivate, intimidate, and dazzle all their foes.
Hundreds of craftsmen work for years on the Vasa until the day she finally sets sail in a display of celebratory pomp…and promptly sinks in the Stockholm harbor with many lives lost. What on earth has gone wrong?
I visited the Vasa museum when I was in Stockholm a few years ago and it is, hands down, one of the most impressive museums I’ve ever seen. Read this fascinating account of the Vasa’s construction, demise, and restoration, well-told by the late Russell Freedman, and gorgeously illustrated in all the splash of colors befitting this highly decorated vessel. All you Scandinavians, don’t miss this! Ages 6 and up.
The Turtle Ship, written by Helena Ku Rhee, illustrated by Colleen Kong-Savage
published in 2018 by Shen’s Books, Lee & Low
Finally, travel back a bit further in time to medieval Korea, when Admiral Yi Sun-sin designed a unique warship based on the efficacious body of a turtle!
This is a fictionalized account which portrays Sun-sin as a young boy taking part in a design contest held by the Korean king. It’s a warm, engaging story, with incredibly gorgeous collage artwork that showcases the splendors of Korea in rich colors, textures, lines, and patterns.
An afterword tells more about the historical Turtle Ship and the author’s and illustrator’s processes. Splendid for ages 4 and up.
There are gallons more books about all things ocean in the Marmalade archives which you can find here.
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