The Ocean Emporium by Susie Brooks and Dawn Cooper

An emporium is a place where you can view a large variety of things.

So the title ocean emporium is the perfect title to open children’s eyes to the abundance of amazing creatures that live within.

With 24 different categories, each double page spread allows the reader to learn about the different animals that swim in our abundant waters. With stunning illustrations not only will the reader read the facts, they will also see the creature in all of its glory.

We were amazed as we  learnt about 8 different jellyfish and the way they all move, help each other and protect themselves.

Dolphins leapt off the page at us and we were very impressed with the pink colours of the Chinese White Dolphin.

Even coral had a mention – the truly amazing living thing that it is, and we learnt about  the different latin names they have and ways that they grow.

The Ocean Emporium  by Susie Brooks and Dawn Cooper is a book to allow children to leap into non-fiction and really whet their appetite for deeper knowledge.

The illustrations are full of colour and there is just enough information for young readers to enjoy without being overwhelmed.

The Ocean Emporium is a wonderful journey to embark upon as you’ll discover secrets, learn new information and most importantly realise how important it is to take care of the world around us.

So what else can you do with this book?

Visit:

Visit your local waterway and discover what swims beneath the surface.

Go to local museums, aquariums and science spaces to learn more.

Act:

Buy less fish – the less we buy, the smaller the demand and the less sea creatures getting caught in nets unnecessarily

Ask: 

  • Choose a creature or a group of creatures and learn more about them.
  • Find out which of these animals live in the oceans near you.
  • Are any of these animals endangered? What can we do to help them?
  • Can you create an insect emporium? Monotreme? Mammal? Marsupial? Sky emporium?
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Zobi and the Zoox: A story of coral Bleaching by Ailsa Wild, Aviva Reed, Briony Barr and Gregory Crocetti

This is a story about coral bleaching, told by the tiniest creatures on the reef. 

Have you ever read a picture book where the setting is on a coral polyp? This was a first for me, and perhaps you too, but it is an excellent way to grab the readers attention to realise just how much can go on in the smallest of places.

As we start to read we meet a polyp called Darian. Darian lives in the Great Barrier Reef and devastatingly for Darian, the ocean isn’t cooling down.

Through detailed illustrations and carefully worded story, we learn about the bacteria called Zobi (and her family) that live inside the polyps gut and the important role they play in looking after Darian when the oceans get far too hot.

We meet many other organisms who make up the polyp and see the distressing time they are having as they have to cope with oceans that are too warm.

We see team work, creative thinking and problem solving as they work hard together to save their own little world from destruction.

Zobi and the Zoox is not only a story it is also a science book. Adults and children will learn so much about coral as they read this story and every illustration adds even more information.

Once the story has finished, there is a section called ‘The science behind the story’. In this section extra information and diagrams are provided for those who wish to learn about the facts touched on in the story in more detail. Illustrations, labelled diagrams, photographs and scientific information cover the last 16 pages and help to explain any information that needs to be looked at in more detail.

Zobi and the Zoox is an excellent book to use to teach children (and their adults) just how important the coral reef is to ocean health. It is also important to make people aware that everything, even if it is so tiny that we cannot see it with the naked eye, plays a super important role in the world we live in.

So what else can you do with this book?

Sustainability

  • How has this booked changed the way you think about the world you live in? What is one thing you can do differently to stop global warming?
  • If coral bleaching continues to happen, how will the tourism ad for Queensland change? Look at the latest advertisement and see how this would be modified – what would be taken away or added? Create a new one.

Science

  • How is a coral polyp like a city?
  • What parts of a coral polyp are like our bodies?

Teacher notes from CSRIO

The coral Kingdom by Laura Knowles and Jennie Webber

The time is now, the chance is brief!

Stand up and save the coral reef!

Amazing pictures lie deep within this great Australian Geographic picture book, alongside a rhyming story that will teach young readers all about the coral reef and the creatures that live there.

As you journey below the water line you will see how the coral reef is created, how animals interact with it and how human behaviour is causing damage.

The bleaching of the coral reef is touched upon – not dwelled upon – which is important for young readers. Instead, easy tips and suggestions are offered within the story and at the end with a page full of suggestions.

The illustrations are spellbinding and add so much to the short story – giving you the parent or teacher to talk about that creature and how they live in the water with the reef.

Teaching children about the coral reef is a really important issue right now due to the damage that has been done. This book is a great way to start to teach your children about the small things that they can do to make a difference in the future of the planet (and hopefully their small steps will be followed by their parents bigger steps!)

The coral Kingdom by Laura Knowles and Jennie Webber is an excellent book for children of all ages, and one which links in nicely with science, geography and sustainability.

So what else can you do with this book

SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

  • Visit the end pages of this and choose an animal you would like to research further.
  • Seek out the suggestions at the end of the story as to how you can save the GBR.
  • Find newspaper articles about the GBR and what is happening to it. Seek out both positive and negative stories.
  • Sign or create a petition about the GBR urging the government to stop coal mining and dredging of the land and sea near the reef.

LITERACY

  • Link up all the rhyming words used. Find more words that rhyme with these words and try to create a few lines that you could add to this story about the coral reef.

NUMERACY

  • How much of the GBR has been bleached?
  • How many different types of animals live in the GBR?
  • If the GBR was destroyed how many less tourists might come to Australia?

BUY NOW FROM FISHPOND

 The Coral Kingdom

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Coral Sea Dreaming by Kim Michelle toft 

Another intriguing and intricately detailed picture book from Kim Michelle Toft is Coral Sea Dreaming. ⠀

Take a plunge under the water and meet many amazing animals who live amongst the Coral of the Great Barrier Reef. ⠀

Learn about why we need to take care of this world heritage listed wonder. ⠀

Learn more about the animals who call the reef their home and know that if the reef is destroyed by mining, climate change, pollution, over fishing or greed that they too will disappear. ⠀

Kim Michelle Toft shows her passion for raising awareness about the GBR in all her books and this one is no exception. ⠀

Norah Colvin has written an amazing and insightful blog post on this book – take  a look here: http://www.readilearn.com.au/preserving-worlds-oceans-coral-sea-dreaming/

So what can you do?

Visual Art

Explore the techniques used by Kim Michelle Toft and recreate your own images of endangered sea creatures of the GBR.

Literacy through science 

Write your own poem using rhyme that highlights the importance of coral. Explore why we need coral and which animals would not be alive if we did not have any coral in our oceans.

Sustainability

How do each of our actions effect the GBR? Make a list of the actions you are going to change (water usage, chemicals you put down the drain, amount of times you drive instead of walking)

Why do we need the coral reef? List all of the different reasons why we need this great natural wonder.

How can we talk to the government so that they take action and halt any further mining in this area?

What might the future look like without the GBR?

Visual ArtExplore the techniques used by Kim Michelle Toft and recreate your own images of endangered sea creatures of the GBR.Literacy through science Write your own poem using rhyme th

 

 

 

One less fish

One less fish is a colourful, informative and pertinent story about the Great Barrier Reef and the amazing sea creatures within.

fish

 

I’m sure many of you are aware of the coral bleaching that has been occurring in the GBR over the past year. The coral reef is such an important part of our natural world and more importance needs to be placed upon this destruction.

I have been lucky enough to visit the reef, see the vibrant coral and swim amongst the different sea creatures that live there. Many people will miss out on this opportunity if we don’t start to take action.

The picture book One Less Fish  by Kim Michelle Toft and Allan Sheather allows children to see the fish that swim amongst the coral. The beautiful illustrations show the diversity that swims in the Great Barrier Reef and highlights the beauty of the coral that the fish live between.

One Less Fish was written to show readers what may have happened if it had not been inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981.  Each page gives tips on how we can start to make changes so that less destruction takes place towards to Reef, the ocean and the sea creatures.

Although this book seems sad and without hope as fish diminish one by one it ends on a high with all of the fish returning.

One Less Fish is a great teaching resource through the tips on each page and the glossary on the last two pages. It also allows children to see what sorts of fish live in the Great Barrier Reef and allows them to hear what can happen through small less thoughtful actions.  It also is a great starting point to discuss with them what we can do today, to ensure there is less harm done.

TEACHING TIPS

When I read this story to my children they loved counting the fish, talking about the different colours in each image and finding out the names of the creatures.

So what can you do?

SCIENCE

  •  Allow time to research a fish or another sea creature that lives in the Great Barrier Reef. Find out as much as possible about that creature. Ask the question – how will they be effected by coral bleaching?
  • Find up to date information about the Great Barrier Reef: How it is used, who uses it and the governments approach to it.
  • Create a Venn diagram that compares two animals of the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Find out the life cycles of the different types of GBR fish. You will be amazed at how different they are!
  • Forming small groups look at the different tips that are offered on each page – research these issues to gain more understanding of them. Are they still issues? Are there more issues since this book was written in 1997?
  • Watch this Ted talk to see how scientists are working on saving the reef.  https://www.ted.com/talks/kristen_marhaver_how_we_re_growing_baby_corals_to_rebuild_reefs?language=en

MATHEMATICS

  •  Count the fish as you go. Show addition and take away sums as you read through the story.
  • How many fish are there in the whole story?
  • How many years has the reef been listed on the World Heritage List?
  • Look at temperature charts of the sea water over the last ten years. Discuss how this effects the coral.
  • Older children may love to look at the mathematics of coral! https://www.ted.com/talks/margaret_wertheim_crochets_the_coral_reef?language=en

THINKING, TALKING & SHARING

  • Do people think differently now than in 1997? Have we continued to protect the reef?
  • What can we do if we live far away from the reef?

 

One less fish won a CBCA award in 1998

MATHEMATICS

STAGE One
Represent and solve simple addition and subtraction problems using a range of strategies including counting on, partitioning and rearranging parts (ACMNA015)

SCIENCE

Stage One

People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE022)

Stage two

Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions (ACSHE051)

Living things depend on each other and the environment to survive (ACSSU073)

Stage three

The growth and survival of living things are affected by physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)

 Scientific knowledge is used to solve problems and inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE083)

 

 

 

Why start a blog about books?

IMG_8193

 

This is why, and I thank @coralsci for this:

I was watching a TED talk by Kristen Marhaver ( @coralsci) about growing baby coral to help replenish reefs.

She said this that inspired me to try and make a difference, to try and help others understand what is going on in the wider world and how it relates to us even in the smallest way.

And yet, almost everyone I meet, no matter how educated, is not sure what a coral is or where they come from. How would we get someone to care about the world’s coral reefs when it’s an abstract thing they can barely understand? If they don’t understand what a coral is or where it comes from, or how funny or interesting or beautiful it is, why would we expect them to care about saving them

I hope my blog can try to make meaning to real environmental issues – let me know!