Out of the Blue by Alison Jay is a stunning wordless picture book which draws you into each image, searching for stories within stories.
A young boy lives in a lighthouse and spends his days beach combing – where he meets a young girl and together they play until a storm rolls in.
The boy retreats to his lighthouse home, to only find once awakening, that a giant octopus has emerged from the storm and is stranded on the beach – alive but tangled in old netting.
The boy and girl rescue the octopus along with other caring beach goers and release it back into the sea to all of the other sea creatures.
No words are needed for this story to make you feel warm with hope, blue with sadness and energised with joy. The illustrations allow your mind to wonder throughout the story and long after it has been read.
Take your time to read this story again and again – and draw fact from the back pages to learn more about the creatures of the ocean and how we can take better care of them.
So where to from here?
- The Ocean Clean up is an amazing company who are working on creating an eco friendly way to clean up the ocean by removing plastic bags that lie around in the ocean, harming wildlife and their habitat.
- Investigate organisations which act to look after the ocean.
- Should plastic bags be banned? Debate this – look at the pros and cons and work out why large companies are reluctant to ban them.
- Visit the beach or a local waterway and see how much plastic you can find while you are there. Categorise the plastic – what is turning up the most? What state is the plastic in? How might these pieces of plastic be harming wildlife (links to numeracy: graphs and creating categories)
- Investigate ocean animals that live in the deeper parts of the ocean. What do they look like? How are their survival techniques different from animals who live on the upper levels of the ocean?
- Have there been occasions where a deep sea creature really has appeared on the beach out of the blue?
- Rewrite this story from the octopuses point of view or even the little girls point of view.