Today I am here to review Ocean: Secrets of the Deep by Sabrina Weiss & Giulia De Amicis, an illustrated nonfiction children’s book that delves into the mysteries of the deep…
Author: Sabrina Weiss
Illustrator: Giulia De Amicis
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction
Version: Hardcover (72 pages)
Publisher: What On Earth Books
Discover menacing sharks, playful dolphins, clownfish, penguins, turtles, whales, shimmering jellyfish, and gargantuan giant squid. Ocean: Secrets of the Deep is jam-packed with 100s of stylish illustrations and many more surprising facts about the world’s marine life. First, readers are taken on a journey from the water’s surface to the deepest, darkest depths of the oceans, stopping off at coral reefs and kelp forests. Next, information-packed spreads offer answers to questions such as: How do turtles keep clean? Do whales talk to each other? and What can humans do to save the ocean?
When I was approached to receive a copy of Oceans: Secrets of the Deep for review, I immediately accepted. My family and I had just gotten back from a trip to North Carolina for a beach vacation, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to share more about our oceans with my daughter.
Oceans: Secrets of the Deep is a plethora of information about the oceans & everything that calls the ocean home. The book starts off sharing some of the mythology and legends surrounding the oceans like sea monsters, mermaids, Atlantis, etc. We then proceed to learn about the different ocean zones: sunlight zone, twilight zone, midnight zone, the abyss, and the hadal zone. We are given general information about all of the different zones, and which types of marine life we can find in each. We move on to ecosystems like coral reefs, deltas, marshes, kelp forests, polar seas, etc. Then we proceed to the marine life portion of the book where we learn about the different sea creatures, how they interact, what the eat, etc. Finally we learn about how the oceans are in danger from pollution, global warming, & over-fishing, and what we can do to protect our oceans.
I was immediately drawn to the stunning illustrations on each and every page in Oceans: Secrets of the Deep. Whereas many nonfiction books on the ocean & marine life that I’ve come across include real life photographs, this book is exclusively illustrated. There is so much to look at on every page! I also think the maps, charts, and size comparisons were excellent additions. I think these illustrations will really appeal to a wide audience, making this book appeal to a younger audience in addition to the target audience of 7 – 11 year-olds.
Oceans: Secrets of the Deep is a “grow with me” type of picture book. You could definitely adapt this book to a younger audience by paraphrasing the larger chunks of text and allowing your child to pick and choose what they’d like to learn about. As the child grows older, they will have more of an attention span needed for the longer sections & be able to grasp more of the information. As far as the text goes, I would say that the reading level is probably on the higher end of the target audience, probably more like 9+ due to the complex topics included. Again this isn’t to say that you will not be able to read this with a younger child, just that you might have to simplify the text to their comprehension level.
I found Oceans: Secrets of the Deep to be a well rounded source of knowledge on all things ocean. One big thing that I appreciated about this book is the focus on the oceans as a whole and the entire oceanic ecosystem. While this book introduces many of the different marine animals, this book is really exploring how the marine life interact with their surroundings, other species, and each other. I love that the author explored common myths and legends surround the ocean – where they originated, possible explanations, etc. I also love that the author goes into the danger our oceans face from pollution, global warming, and over fishing, and gives us ideas on what we as individuals can do to help lessen our negative impact on the oceans.
Oceans: Secrets of the Deep would be an excellent addition in either a home library, or in a classroom setting.
Journalist in the making at Wired UK in London – covering science, environment, business and tech.
Author of Ocean: Secrets of the Deep, a non-fiction kids book.
Do your children enjoy learning about the ocean & marine life?
Which are your favorite nonfiction children’s books featuring the ocean and/or marine life?
Comment below & let me know 🙂