The ocean covers about 71 percent of Earth’s surface and contains approximately 97 percent of the planet’s water.  Scientists estimate that there are 226,000 species living in the oceans.  It is an amazing place, worthy of our attention and care.  

“Jake and Ava” is the thoughtful tale of Jake, an eight year old boy, who goes fishing for the first time with his grandfather. The narrative alternates between Jake and Ava, who is an archerfish.  Archerfish live with their families in warm (salt or fresh) waters of Australia. When Jake catches Ava, he quickly comprehends her suffering and releases her back to the water, where she is safe.

Since its publication in 2021, the book has been praised by many scientists. It teaches its audience (kids 3 and up) about empathy and kindness to animals. Moreover, at the end of the book, there is a full page dedicated to adults. It explains more about fish, their behavior, and feelings and issues with over fishing.

“Jake and Ava” is Jonathan Balcombe’ first children’s book. He is a New York Times best-selling author and biologist. Rebecca Evans’ illustrations are exquisite and masterful at conveying emotions.

Cute sea otters are known for being playful and spending a lot of time frolicking. But did you know they also play a critical role in keeping ecosystems healthy?  “Sea Otter Heroes” follows Brent Hughes fascinating journey of discovery regarding the role sea otters play in preserving ecosystems, specifically the Elkhorn Slough, an inlet of Monterey Bay in Northern California.  The book has many photographs of otters, their home, and describes in detail how all of the plants and animals are interconnected.  The book is recommended for ages nine to fourteen.

“Sea Otter Heroes” is written by Patricia Newman who is known for empowering young readers to use their imaginations to create positive change in their communities.

“Save the Ocean” is a fun and lighthearted story of Kaleisha, a mermaid, and her friend Agwe, a sea turtle. During a swim, Agwe thinks he is eating jellyfish, his favorite food, when in fact, he is eating plastic bags, which look very similar. Agwe is choking when Kaleisha comes to his rescue. The two friends realize that there are more and more victims of plastic and other trash in the ocean and how it affects their lives. They decide they need to work on making the ocean clean again by teaching everyone how to help.

The story teaches kids about the importance of sustainability and the 3 Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle). It gives concrete and easy ideas on how to achieve those goals of a cleaner planet, such as using tote bags instead of plastic bags, and using reusable straws The last few pages of the book includes “ocean facts” as well as reading games for active participation in a recycling adventure and a greener way of life.

“Save the Ocean” was written and illustrated by Bethany Stahl. It won the “2019 Featured Author” award at the National Author’s Day. It is the first book in a series called “Save the Earth”. The author is very active in her community and even received a Certificate of Recognition from Dr. Jane Goodall. The book is also an animated film on YouTube.

Stories are a powerful way to learn, and these illustrated books (art or photos) make it a real pleasure. These books are available through your library, local bookstore, or online.