We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2015 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year, as well as reading challenges that we have pledged to join this year. Our reading theme for January/February is Once Upon a Childhood: Throwback Reads on Childhood Favourites and HOT for CYBILS.
Written and illustrated by: Claire A. Nivola
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2012)
Book borrowed from Wayne County Public Library.
I learned about Claire Nivola’s Life in the Ocean through Goodreads, while I was browsing its list of nonfiction picture books. Before I got this book from the library, I did not have any inkling who Sylvia Earle was. I’m glad I borrowed it, though, because Sylvia Earle’s story was a fascinating one.
The book mostly talked about Sylvia’s life as an oceanographer, from her childhood exploits to grown-up investigations of plant and animal life. Sylvia lived on an old farm in New Jersey where she spent hours exploring and observing the living creatures in the woods close to their farmhouse. It was when Sylvia and her family moved to Florida that Sylvia had completely “lost her heart to the water,” as Sylvia’s mother had put it.
From the age of sixteen, when she swam thirty feet to the bottom of a river using diving gear for the first time — to scuba diving while researching algae for her university degree, to joining an expedition where she was the only woman among seventy men on a research ship in the Indian Ocean… — Sylvia never stopped trying to dive deeper and see more.
Life in the Ocean has a longer narrative than other picture book biographies. Although the pages in the book has lengthy texts, Life in the Ocean is a must-read for children, young and old alike. The book has full-spread illustrations teeming with the colors of earth and sea, inviting readers to dive with Sylvia into the unknown. Her life and her works tell nothing but wondrous tales of the deep. In addition, Sylvia Earle’s story is filled with hopes, dreams, adventures, and a never-ending thirst for knowledge. After all, it’s not every day that you read about someone as passionate as Sylvia Earle.