OVER AND UNDER THE WAVES
By: Kate Messner
Illustrated by: Christopher Silas Neal
Published: September 13, 2022
Publisher: Chronicle Kids
Author Kate Messner remembers a time when she took her own children out kayaking in Monterey Bay. After the experience, she knew she wanted to write about the special ecosystem both above and below the waves in this area of the Pacific Ocean.
A family heads out in their kayaks on a beautiful day on the ocean. As they paddle away from the beach, they watch sea lions slip into the water and see pelicans soar overhead looking for fish to eat. They imagine the kelp bass below them hunting for small fish. They see a mama otter and her pup cuddled together while another otter swims below searching for red abalone and sea urchins.
There is a whole world living beneath the waves relying on each other for food and shelter. While gliding along in the waves a fountain mist sprays up and the family is treated to humpback whales lunging to the surface and crashing back down with a splash. You never know what you might see after a day on the ocean.
The illustrations are really beautiful and fill the pages with life both above and below the ocean’s surface. This book is a bit oversized and the vibrant colors of the ocean fill every inch of the page.
The author spent time researching the Monterey Bay area and talking with biologists and volunteers. At the end of the book, she shares about each of the animals featured in the book with a brief paragraph of information. She also includes websites and books for kids if they’d like more information. This would be a great gift for an ocean-loving child or as an addition to an ocean unit in a homeschool or classroom library.
Kate Messner is the award-winning author of Over and Under the Snow, Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, Over and Under the Pond, Over and Under the Rainforest, Over and Under the Canyon, How to Read a Story, and The Brilliant Deep, as well as more than a dozen other books for young readers. Kate lives on Lake Champlain with her family. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time outside—cross-country skiing, hiking, swimming, and digging in her gardens.
Christopher Silas Neal is the award-winning artist of Over and Under the Snow, Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, Over and Under the Pond, Over and Under the Rainforest, and Over and Under the Canyon. His work has been published in a variety of books and magazines and featured on television. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn.