The Big Book of the Blue is the third book in Yuval Zommer’s ‘The Big Book of’ series. It follows on from the publication of The Big Book of Bugs and The Big Book of Beasts and readers are in for yet another treat. If you are not familiar with Zommer’s work and ‘The Big Book’ series you are seriously missing out. Like the previous books in the series, it is full of fascinating facts, questions and answers.
Ever wondered…Is a seahorse a horse? Is a jellyfish made from jelly? Why does an octopus need eight arms? Why does a crab run sideways? How many tins can one tuna fill? Well, The Big Book of the Blue has the answers to all of these questions and more.
The Book of the Big Blue is produced across twenty-nine double page spreads. Each double page spread focuses on a specific topic or creature and is laid out in an inviting way for the reader. The pages are colourful and are packed full of stunning illustrations that are detailed and vibrant. Each double page spread begins with a heading and is supplemented by an interesting question that immediately grabs the reader’s attention. Subheadings are scattered across the page and are accompanied by facts and informative chunks of text. Zommer’s clever use of puns adds humour to the book which readers will delight in. Get ready for fin-tastic fish, sss-wimming snakes and ink-teresting octopus facts.
Zommer also pays attention to the environmental issues that the oceans face and details the actions of humans that are causing the problems. I sincerely hope all readers, children and adults, pay close attention to this part as we can actively help to look after our oceans and the wonderful creatures that call them home.
My favourite double page is the the deep dive page where the reader is treated to a dive into the ocean and an examination of what is going on at different depths - fascinating stuff. And when all the information gets too much, there are fabulous ‘can you find’ activities. Readers are challenged to find specific things within individual spreads such as finding something that does not belong in the dolphin habitat (plastic litter). There is also a more generic challenge in which readers are given the task of finding the sneaky sardine who has found his way into fifteen of the spreads.
This feels like a proper grown-up non-fiction book and young readers will no doubt love that there is a contents, an index and a glossary that comes in the form of ‘Fishy Phrases’ so young ocean explorers can speak like an expert.
The book is a fabulous way for children to learn about the wonders of the ocean and the creatures within it. It is a brilliant book for any budding oceanographer and will be devoured by children who want to find out about everything that lives in the ‘big blue’. The book is published as a large format coffee-table sized book with thick pages that will hold up to endless hours of exploration.
Recommended for 6+.