Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea

The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea

Helaine Becker
Illustrator:  Willow Dawson 
For ages 8 to 10
Kids Can Press, 2012   ISBN: 978-1554537464

Many of us enjoy spending a day at the seaside, playing in the shallows and perhaps even riding the waves on a boogie board or surf board. Even if we spend a lot of time in or near the ocean, we often forget that the world’s oceans are vital for human survival on this planet. Much of the oxygen we breathe is made by plankton, and most of the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is absorbed by the world’s oceans and seas.

For millions of years, the world’s oceans and seas have been relatively stable, which has made it possible for “life to develop and flourish.” Unfortunately, human activity is now affecting this stability. Oceans and seas are getting warmer and more acidic, and there is a very real fear that these changes are going to impact our planet in a negative way. The good news is that scientists are aware of this danger, and people all over the world are stepping up to do what they can to safeguard Earth’s seas and oceans.

In this book, the author uses activities and sections of text to help young people better understand how the world’s oceans work, what they do, and what is being done to protect them. In addition, readers will learn a little about some of the fascinating creatures who live in marine environments.

The activities begin with a project that will help children to visualize how “wet Earth really is.” This is followed by an experiment that demonstrates how the world’s oceans and seas became salty. The experiment is accompanied by an article that discusses desalination and its potential in the future to help deal with water shortages.

Further on in the book, there is a game that children can try that helps them to understand how important it is to manage fisheries in a sustainable way. As they play the game, children will come to appreciate that we humans need to be careful how many fish we catch if we want fish populations to survive into the future.

In addition to the hands-on activities and games, there are also articles about marine creatures, marine environments, pollution, and more.

What makes this book special is that it is not just a learning tool. It is also a book that will help children to see that each and every one of them can do something to help protect the world’s marine environments. Throughout the book the author the author answers the question “What can you do?” Readers will see that there are lots of things that they can do on a regular basis that will help keep the world’s oceans and seas healthy.

Packed with information and excellent activities and projects that are both educational and entertaining, this is a book that both teachers and parents will enjoy sharing with their children.