My first children’s book splashed into the world this week – Blue Planet II. You might remember seeing the show on the telly a few years back. Well I got to work with the people who made the show, the BBC, some people who make books, Puffin, and an incredible illustrator called Emily Dove to take Blue Planet from TV to print. It was FINtastic. (Sorry – I’m prone to puns).
Today, I wanted to share with you my five favourite children’s books that feature the big blue for budding Ocean Heroes! This is something I wrote for Books For Topics who also reviewed Blue Planet II.
1. Where the Forest Meets the Sea
This is one of the first books I remember reading. I’d take it out of the school library every single month. It’s a gorgeous photographic collage, with the pictures made out of sand, shells, bark. . . it’s so lifelike you feel like you could step into the page and dip your toes in the sea. It’s about a little boy who’s exploring the Daintree Rainforest on Australia’s coastline with his dad. He imagines the wildlife and the aboriginal people who once lived there and in the final pages we see the coast transformed from a stretch of beach to high rise developments. A gentle and thought-provoking book about how we’re changing our wild spaces.
2. Tropical Terry
I grew up on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and this vibrant picture book captures its incredible kaleidoscope of colour. Terry is NOT a fancy fish – he’s humdrum coloured which means the spectacular tropical fish don’t notice him. So, Terry uses seaweed and bits and bobs to construct a rainbow tail. Now the tropical fish are desperate to play with Terry, that is until a big hungry eel arrives looking for dinner! This picture book is funny, has brilliant dialogue and is a tropical treat!
3. The Big Book of Blue
My little people are huge fans of Yuval’s books, which include The Big Book of Beasts and The Big Book of Bugs. But we think this one is best of all – like a refreshing dip in the sea! Yuval’s illustrations are mesmerising with bite-sized text that’s lots of fun, touching on ocean families from across the Big Blue (we love the deep-sea fish spread) and an interactive ‘Did you find?’ at the end.
4. Creature Features Ocean
This is not your average book about beasts! Rather than separating out animals into families, it hones-in on their unusual features, from shiny shells to fantastic fins. It’s super eclectic and makes us smile!
5. Blue Planet II
Leisa Stewart-Sharpe (that’s me!) and Emily Dove
Can I vote for my own book?! Please, pretty please? I had so much fun taking all the creatures and stories you love from the blockbuster TV show and reimagining it in print for a whole new generation. The first of four books in a landmark new non-fiction series, with a beautiful introduction from the man himself, Sir David Attenborough.