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PB-NF: Life in the Ocean, The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle

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Title: Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle
Author & Illustrator: Claire A. Nivola
Publisher: Frances Foster Book, 2012
Book Type: Non-Fiction
Ages: 6 and up
Themes: Marine Biology, Women Explorers

There are plenty of books on oceanography and explorers, but this book stole my heart with its soft-hued, detailed illustrations and easy-to-understand, inspiring text. Nivola documents Sylvia’s early childhood from growing up on the Gulf Coast, where Sylvia fell in love with the water, to the historic walk along the ocean floor. This book will make you fall in love with the ocean and its beautiful creatures, and inspire kids to follow their passions.

I love Nivola’s use of language. She just doesn’t tell the reader that Nivola grew up on a farm but makes you feel like you were really there, taking in the sights and smells. Poetic.

“living creatures in every inch of the nearby woods- in the farm’s pond, in its creek … Countless butterflies visited the flowers of the garden, and the fragrance of the lilac bushes“

Nivola is able to explain scenes in a way that kids can understand and even find riveting. Here she writes about a humpback whale.

“[whale] swam straight at her, like a freight train bearing down on a mouse. Moments before the collision“

I found it fascinating the way Nivola was able to incorporate phrases, that were quotations, into the text. Sometimes it seemed as if the quote may have been the inspiration for the paragraph and accompanying illustration.

I encourage you to check out the gorgeous illustrations from this book on the MacMillan website.

#1 - May 18, 2012, 10:37 AM
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