Ocean! Waves for All –  Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by David Litchfield


     Ocean! Waves for All –  Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by David Litchfield. Henry Holt and Company, 2020. 9781250108098 

Format: Hardcover

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

 Genre: nonfiction

 What did you like about the book? Facts and statistics about Earth’s oldest and most important resource are presented in a lighthearted, humorous way.  Ocean itself narrates this book with a surfer dude tone, describing its long history, global location, and the millions of denizens who live in its depths.  After extolling its own beauty and power, and explaining its role in earth’s climate, Ocean also imparts “sad news, dudes: I’m facing a major wipeout.”  Important truths about overfishing, pollution, and climate change are shared on just one spread, followed by an optimistic request to work together to get “back in the zone.”

Readers will want to spend a lot of time studying the many details in both the text and the illustrations.  Using the ocean as the really rad narrator extends beyond the words, as every page spread is an oceanscape with an expressive face and arms (sometimes extended above the surface, and sometimes pointing out details down below) in the water.  The full-bleed illustrations teem with sea life from algae to the blue whale, and the text is layered over the pictures in contrasting color.    Backmatter includes an author’s note, fact boxes,  bibliographic references, and an entertaining ‘Would You Rather” Q & A with Ocean.  This is a solid choice for introducing the ocean, whether for earth science or ecology.

Anything you did not like about the book?  No, dude! 

 To whom would you recommend this book? Middle elementary science or geography teachers will love this as a readaloud, and young readers will want to dive right in!  Students who have read other books in McAnulty’s “Our Universe” series will be “totally stoked” for this latest entry. 

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Nonfiction – 551.46

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  no

 Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Leigh Russell King, Lincoln Street School, Northborough, Massachusetts.

Date of review: 9/18/2020

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