Summer Read-to-Learn

All summer, I’ll be sharing books for kids of all ages on topics that will interest them or offer them something new to learn about. Most of the time, these will be nonfiction books, but sometimes we can learn from fictional stories too.

I hope you will stay tuned to these posts. They will always have Summer Read-to-Learn in the title and the tags. There will be books from some of my favorite publishers like Feeding Minds Press, Chronicle Kids, Twirl, Templar Books, Candlewick Press, and others as well as books on all kinds of topics kids love to read and learn about. Be sure to stop by each week to see what book I’m sharing as part of my Summer Read-to-Learn series.

To see all the books in the Summer Read-to-Learn series, click HERE.

Else B in the Sea cover

The Woman Who Painted the Wonders of the Deep
By: Jeanne Walker Harvey
Illustrated by: Melodie Stacey
Published: June 4, 2024
Publisher: Cameron Kids

Jeanne Walker Harvey writes stellar biography picture books for children. I previously shared DRESSING UP THE STARS, a biography of Edith Head, movie costume designer of the stars. Her newest biography is about a woman I would bet you’ve never heard of before but is part of the reason we know so much about life in the Ocean.

Else Bostelmann was an artist, a German immigrant to America, and a young widow and mom. She was chosen by William Beebe, a scientist, to paint what he saw in the ocean deep. In the 1930s, he visited the ocean in his bathysphere, a steel vessel that was suspended by cables from a boat. It had portholes for viewing under the water. Because little was known about ocean life, he and Else were one of the first to publish their findings.

Else B in the Sea page 1

It’s amazing to me to imagine a woman, in the 1930s donning a copper helmet (how heavy would that have to be?), going under the water with paint and palette, and painting something while underwater. Else took time to figure out what paints would work underwater. She studied the fish species so she would understand their movements and how they interacted with other fish and their habitat.

Else B in the Sea page 4

Then she traveled underwater to paint the fish she saw for William Beebe. Eventually, their findings were published in National Geographic Magazine and for many people, it was the first time anyone saw and learned about life in the ocean. Else continued to provide illustrations for the magazine and their line of children’s books for many years.

Else’s story is an inspiration in so many ways. She encourages us to care for our oceans and protect the many species that live there and depend on them. She also inspires kids to go after their dreams, work hard, and prove people wrong by trying new things. I know I’ll be talking about Else’s story for a long time.

Check out the book trailer:

Click HERE for an Activity Kit

Jeanne Walker Harvey is the author of many picture books, including Boats on the Bay, as well as the well-received picture book biographies Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas (winner of the 2022 Northern California Book Awards – Children’s Literature Younger Readers and Jane Addams Children’s Book Award finalist), Dressing Up the Stars: The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head, and Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines (a NSTA Best STEM Book of the Year). She lives in Sonoma, California. For free downloadable activities and more, visit her website,

Melodie Stacey is a fine artist and illustrator whose work can be found in the picture book Beautiful Useful Things: What William Morris Made. She lives in Brighton, UK.

To purchase a copy of ELSE B. IN THE SEA, click HERE.

Other posts you might like:

Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to make a purchase through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.

Check out my review policy, HERE.

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