A First Book of the Sea

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A First Book of the Sea is another beautiful and informative nonfiction title from the expert voice that is Nicola Davies. This book is a real favourite of mine in which Nicola explores the seaside and ocean on the one hand through simple beach experiences such as building a sandcastle or exploring a rock pool interspersed with different types of fishing, a sailors jig and even the Beaufort scale.

It is a wonder how a book that isn’t text heavy and is aimed at a young audience could be so comprehensive. Almost every aspect of sea life you could imagine has been covered here: the shore, the pier, divers, reefs, trawling, whales, sharks, crabs, a shipwreck to name but a few of the subjects that are introduced.

This author illustrator collaboration wholeheartedly works, as we have already seen with Tiny and Lots. Emily Sutton’s illustrations really bring the seaside environment to life. The bright, highly engaging illustrations work in harmony with the poetry and information in the text. The double page spreads dominated by the artwork invite the reader to dive into the sea and feel the ‘festival of flashlight fish’ and the swirl of ten thousand fish and you can even swim with dolphins!

The layout is so accessible. From the clear contents page showing the book’s structure: information is grouped into Down By the Shore, Journeys, Under the Sea and Wonders, to the bitesize amount of text on each page. There is no danger of children being overwhelmed at all.

This book would make a wonderful addition to a library or classroom collection. It is highly informative and supports topic work on habitats and landscapes in a highly engaging way. However, I can also see this title fitting perfectly in that special box of books that a teacher dips into for a spot of indulgent reading for pleasure just because….. A First Book of the Sea is a source of wonder, curiosity and enjoyment that makes it a very special book indeed.

Nicola’s has written so many wonderful books. You can read reviews of some of them here:

The Promise, My Butterfly Bouquet, The Wonder of Trees, Every Child a Song, Flying Free, The Day War Came.