dive in!…six nautical ventures

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 cover image

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.

ocean interior by Henriques and Letria

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.

ocean interior2 by Henriques and Letria

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 cover image

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!

otis and will interior by Rosenstock and Roy

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!

otis and will interior2 by Rosenstock and Roy

Riveting, exceptionally well told and illustrated, with extensive author and illustrator notes to add to our understanding. Ages 5 and up.

flying deep cover image

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.

flying deep interior by Cusolito and Wong

And what will you find there? Join a team on an expedition and experience it for yourself in this intriguing account.

flying deep interior2 by Cusolito and Wong

Enormously appealing illustrations and extensive author and illustrator notes add to our knowledge. Another gem for ages 5 and up.

the brilliant deep cover image

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.

the brilliant deep interior by Messner and Forsythe

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.

the brilliant deep interior2 by Messner and Forsythe

Lovely, engaging, and hopeful, for ages 5 and up.

the sinking of the vasa cover image

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.

the sinking of the vasa by freedman and low

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?

the sinking of the vasa interior3 by freedman and low

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 cover image

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!

the turtle ship interior by Rhee and Kong-Savage

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.

the turtle ship interior2 by Rhee and Kong-Savage

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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