The best books on water and the amazing creatures that live there

Lisa Kahn Schnell Author Of High Tide for Horseshoe Crabs
By Lisa Kahn Schnell

The Books I Picked & Why

The Blue Whale

By Jenni Desmond

Book cover of The Blue Whale

Why this book?

Awe, beauty, and a satisfying amount of information—The Blue Whale has it all. I love the curious child we follow through the book, as well as the visual comparisons that turn astonishing facts about the world’s largest living creature into subtly humorous images that I can relate to on a more personal level. In the final pages of the book, the child—our surrogate adventurer—falls asleep and dreams, amazed by a world that contains such tremendous creatures. 

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We Are Water Protectors

By Carole Lindstrom, Michaela Goade

Book cover of We Are Water Protectors

Why this book?

We Are Water Protectors celebrates the power and determination of a child who is firmly rooted within both her family and the larger community. Written and illustrated by Indigenous creators, the rich, flowing watercolor illustrations pull me in and hold me still, even though the subject matter is upsetting at times. How can we face the pollution of water that our reliance on fossil fuels has caused? There is no simple answer. I found comfort in the beautiful community and intergenerational connections that buffer the fear and sadness of such a task. These connections remind us that it is only by working together, appreciating each person’s strengths and contributions, that we can do the work that needs to be done. 

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Water Sings Blue

By Kate Coombs, Meilo So

Book cover of Water Sings Blue

Why this book?

To me, this book feels like a walk along the beach. I pick up each poem, sink into the swirls and splashes of color, and let my mind wander. Books that encourage such meandering strolls near the ocean have a special place in my heart: the idea for my horseshoe crab book started on just such a walk. Water Sings Blue is a great reminder that you never know what wonders you will discover when you go outside and let your curiosity guide you. 

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Giant Squid

By Candace Fleming, Eric Rohmann

Book cover of Giant Squid

Why this book?

Immersed in the pages of Giant Squid, I feel pulled out of my usual world, allowed to explore the life of an animal I will probably never get to meet in person. I love the way this deep dive takes me up close and personal, yet maintains an aura of mystery—a curl of tentacle here, a glimpse of eyeball there. I also appreciate the balance of accurate scientific information with the basic questions that remind us that there is so much about this animal, and, by extension, the natural world as a whole, that we still do not know. 

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Water: A Deep Dive of Discovery

By Christy Mihaly, Mariona Cabassa

Book cover of Water: A Deep Dive of Discovery

Why this book?

As a young reader, I would have slipped into this book and lost myself for hours. While it’s not a picture book by most definitions, these gorgeously illustrated pages overflow with facts, stories, and cheerful art. Like its subject matter, Water: A Deep Dive of Discovery covers a lot of territory—from the many ways water affects the lives of all living creatures, to maps and diagrams, to simple experiments you can try at home. A lovely book that will hold up to repeated readings by curious minds.    

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