the Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea

the Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea

by Helaine Becker, Willow Dawson

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Based on the idea that knowledge is power, The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea shows how the ocean works and why this immense ecosystem needs our protection. Experiments using everyday materials help explain scientific concepts, such as why the ocean is salty, how temperature affects water density and why fish don't get waterlogged.

A focus on


Based on the idea that knowledge is power, The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea shows how the ocean works and why this immense ecosystem needs our protection. Experiments using everyday materials help explain scientific concepts, such as why the ocean is salty, how temperature affects water density and why fish don't get waterlogged.

A focus on pollution and other ecological hazards raises awareness. Young scientists will gain a hands-on understanding of how ?booms? clean oil spills and how a garbage patch roughly twice the size of Texas came to exist in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Newsy sidebars bring readers up to date on efforts to combat environmental hazards —- such as the use of oysters to help squelch pollution in urban waterways. An ideal tool for classroom use or the perfect way to spend a rainy day, The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea is an essential part of any science library.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
“You cannot live without the ocean. Your blood, sweat and tears are all versions of seawater we carry within us so we can survive on land,” writes Becker in a book that features hands-on experiments involving ocean life. Areas of focus include convection currents, which readers can explore by creating an underwater volcano in a jar; whale communication; and oil spills. Photographs, illustrations, sidebars, and charts combine a playful spirit with valuable insight into ocean health. Ages 8–12. Agent: Lauren Macleod, the Strothman Agency. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Susan Borges
Young scientists and marine enthusiasts will enjoy this detailed text about the ocean, which is described as the most important thing in one's life. For millions of years the ocean did not change and now human activity is causing changes that must be understood and stopped. The clear message in this book for young readers is that we must all work together to understand the ocean and then we can begin to work together to help develop long-term approaches that will reverse the negative effects of human activity on the ocean. The text's introductory pages remind readers that the ocean is the back bone for the worldwide web of life on earth. This means that as changes occur and the ocean becomes less healthy, nothing else on earth will be healthy because the ocean is the earth's life's blood. This clearly stated and compelling message makes readers want to conduct the many step-by-step experiments which are designed to show readers how the ocean functions, thus giving them a greater understanding of some of the many real threats to the long term health of the oceans. The varied and interesting experiments which are written out clearly in this text include ways to discover why there are currents in the ocean, how acidic waters affect coral reefs, and how pearls are made. Although there is valuable and important scientific information in this text, unfortunately the organization of the text does not clearly categorize the information into easily understood subsections. Although the table of contents has subtitles for three main categories of information, when reading within the text, it is difficult to determine how the information is categorized. Despite this lack of internal organization, the factual content is excellent and the experiments are easy to conduct and well explained. Detailed illustrations, maps, charts, photographs, and diagrams accompany the text and add greatly to the comprehension of the subject matter. In addition, the illustrations represent many different cultures and populations as well as a variety of geographical areas of the earth. This nonfiction text is sure to be appreciated by young hands-on scientists because it is interesting and well-written, and the simple experiments which will be fun to conduct, clearly demonstrate some of the many ways that the ocean has been impacted by human activity. Reviewer: Susan Borges
Kirkus Reviews
Bite-sized pieces of information and hands-on explorations teach readers all about the sea, from its composition and currents to its problems and energy potential. In simple terms but with scientific vocabulary, Becker introduces such diverse topics as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, density, desalination, sea-floor spreading, global warming, tsunamis, oil spills, osmosis, camouflage and overfishing. Almost every spread provides readers with something to do, whether small lifestyle changes that will help the ocean or a hands-on demonstration. One such invites readers to explore the ways the two different types of whales eat by using a fork and a toothbrush to "feed." Over half the book is dedicated to the amazing adaptations that help ocean animals survive--swim bladders, echolocation, blubber and body shapes are just a few. Fascinating facts appear throughout and are sure to amaze. How many readers know that seabird sneezes are actually a really concentrated salt spray? But this compendium of facts and fun is not without its flaws. The lack of a bibliography means readers cannot check facts, especially when they doubt their veracity (as they should in a few instances). Also, the demonstrations/experiments do not always accomplish their stated intent. Beautiful photographs are scattered throughout, but the bulk of the visuals falls to Dawson, whose illustrations have a retro look and color to them. The sheer breadth of information presented here and its appealing format make this an invaluable resource, especially when accompanied by a knowledgeable adult to guide and correct. (table of contents, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5—This lively look at marine ecology and biology and the effects humans can (and do) have on the world's ocean will have broad appeal. A chatty text introduces readers to an ocean in jeopardy and goes on to present a baker's dozen of marine experiments. From trying to eat a pretzel-stick/cream cheese "sea urchin" otter style (without getting stuck) to colorful "layer-caking" ocean zones, the activities offer a recipe for ingredients, step-by-step procedures, a question as to what the results seem to divulge, and a "What's Going On?" explanation. Illustrations include colorful art, photos, and diagrams. The book closes with a look at the future of our liquid life-support system. Approachable and useful.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY

Product Details

Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.50(d)
890L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Helaine Becker is an award-winning children's author. She has written over 40 books, including the bestselling Looney Bay All-Stars series. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Willow Dawson is an illustrator and writer working out of Toronto, Ontario. Her recent work includes No Girls Allowed: Tales of Daring Women Dressed as Men for Love, Freedom and Adventure and Lila and Ecco's Do-It-Yourself Comics Club.

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