Toby the Deep-Sea Diver

Authored by Sharon Rentta
Illustrated by Sharon Rentta
Published by Alison Green Books, Scholastic

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Toby the Deep-Sea Diver is the second title in the Animal Explorers series. I came across this series last year when the first title, Lola the Plant Hunter was published. I was enchanted by the illustrations and by the animals normally associated with one habitat, tackling a very different climate, habitat and activity.

Lola the Plant Hunter follows Lola, a polar bear. as she travels from the Arctic to the Amazon Rainforest in search of the singing orchid. She is determined, adventurous and brave!

Toby the Deep-Sea Diver features Toby, a tiger who longs to explore the depths of the ocean. Toby loves to dive deep beneath the sea and explore the creatures and coral with his underwater camera.

The longing to dive deeper is heightened by his experiences and love of the ocean so Toby needs to think bigger and push the boundaries! In order to reach the depths, Toby needs a submersible. Only one animal could help Toby build this- bison! Bison is a master of recycling and together they work on a design, solving problems and creating a machine perfect for Toby’s underwater exploring. I love the subtle messages of caring for our planet, recycling materials and ensuring we do not disturb the habitats of animals.

This series of books, written and illustrated by Sharon Rentta, is inspired by real life people, from plant hunters like Marianne North to deep sea explorers like Jacques Cousteau. Three short introductions to these inspirational people are included on the back page, perhaps planting a seed of exploration in young readers. It also adds a research element for classes to learn more about those famous people who have opened our eyes to their discoveries and parts of the world we haven’t yet visited.

These would be perfect for any class studying scientists as the animals all have human qualities and abilities, like perseverance, determination and an adventurous spirit!

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