Book Review: Meet the Oceans

Title: Meet the Oceans

Written by: Caryl Hart

Illustrated by: Bethan Woollvin

Published by: Bloomsbury

This creative non-fiction picture book is the sequel to Caryl Hart’s highly-acclaimed, Meet the Planets, also published by Bloomsbury. Written successfully in rhyme, we follow a young girl and her dog on an incredible underwater voyage in a submarine to explore the many seas and oceans of the world to learn about the multitude of diverse habitats and sea-life they can discover there.

We start our ‘epic adventure’ in the world’s smallest ocean, the Arctic Ocean, where we are introduced to beluga whales and narwhals. We travel on to the breezy Atlantic, then to the Caribbean Sea, the Pacific and the busy South China Sea. Then we journey on to the Coral Sea and the Great Barrier Reef, the colourful Indian Ocean, the cold Southern Ocean to see the penguins and end at the beautiful warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea. At the back of the book is a map of the world for the children to study the route they travelled and compare each sea and ocean’s location to the five continents.

Each illustration by Bethan Woollvin has its own colour palette. I particularly like the way Bethan has bought each of the seas and oceans to life by giving them faces. Together with Caryl’s text they create a different endearing, watery character for each spread.

Meet the Oceans is both exciting and educational. It supports KS1 topics on the environment and meets the requirements of the Geography curriculum attainment target of locational knowledge to name and locate five oceans, whilst introducing some basic geographical vocabulary in a fun way. It also provides opportunities for discussion on conservation by highlighting the plastic pollution littering the Pacific.

This book is sure to become a timeless classic. It is full of interesting, well-researched facts that will sit nicely alongside Moth: an evolution story and Fox: a circle of life story both by Isabel Thomas and Daniel Egnéus.

Overall a truly breath-taking experience that will capture any child’s imagination and inspire them to find out more.

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