Welcome to the April Showers Giveaway Hop hosted by Review Wire Media and Chatty Patty’s Place. Thanks to the sponsors, I’m giving away a children’s non-fiction book from National Geographic kids called Extreme Ocean: Amazing Animals, High-Tech Gear, Record-Breaking Depths, and More. Plus I’m giving away a signed children’s fiction book called Beloved and the Pepper Tree by Ann Gonzales. The giveaway has ended.
Extreme Ocean: Amazing Animals, High-Tech Gear, Record-Breaking Depths, and More
by Sylvia Earle with Glen Phalen
I received these books free to review; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive compensation at no cost to you.
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (March 3, 2020)
Discover the most outrageous aspects of the deep blue — from record-breaking depths to towering tsunamis, underwater giants to tiny sea creatures — along with ocean conservation challenges and what kids can do to help.
An action-packed combination of science and adventure, famed National Geographic Explorer Sylvia Earle leads readers on an in-depth tour of life beneath the waves. Come face-to-face with whales and sharks, learn about the newest and most hi-tech ocean gear and gadgets, experiment with hands-on activities, and join Earle as she recounts her most daring dives.
Packed with fascinating tidbits, animal profiles, and up-to-date science, each chapter combines stunning photography with fun, accessible text. Perfect for curious kids, ocean lovers, young explorers, and the classroom. Extreme Ocean reveals the mystery, majesty, danger, and — above all –the importance of our ocean.
My review of Extreme Ocean
Happy April! This is my birthday month, and it’s also the month we celebrate Earth Day. Extreme Ocean is a great book to share with your kids about ocean conservation. And, did you know that June 8 is World Ocean Day? It’ll be June before we know it! And where are my Shark Week fans? My daughter if fanatical about Shark Week! Once June hits, she starts looking forward to July just because of Shark Week! Though I’m not as big a fan as she is, I do love the ocean and find Shark Week to be fascinating.
Extreme Ocean has a lot of fun facts and gorgeous pictures inside! I love the personal anecdotes that the author includes in the book. In one chapter, she talks about standing on an ice shelf that felt like standing on a whale that was breathing. The ocean’s movement causes the ice shelf to go up and down gently, so it feels like it’s breathing! Of course, as someone who believes in creation rather than evolution, there are things in the book that I don’t agree with. I think science points us directly towards a creator, so don’t discourage your kids from studying evolutionary science too. With your guidance, the Bible, and works by scientists who are Christians, their faith and science can change the world!
The experiments included in Extreme Ocean look like so much fun! My “kids” are grown up now, but I’m sure if you’ve got younger kids, they’ll enjoy doing these with you! If you’re reading this review during our COVID-19 quarantine, do these experiments with your kids now!
This is definitely a book you’ll want to add to your kids’ libraries…especially if they are ocean lovers like we are!
About the author
Dr. SYLVIA EARLE is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, a marine biologist, and an ocean ambassador. She has been named Hero for the Planet by Time magazine. She’s the author of three previous Nat Geo Kids books: Dive!, Hello Fish!, and Sea Critters.
School Library Journal described the spirit of Dr. Earle’s books when reviewing Dive!: “Earle uses a winning combination of factual information and genuine enthusiasm to encourage a new generation of aquanauts.”
Earle is also the author of numerous books for adults including: Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans, and National Geographic’s Wild Ocean and Atlas of the Oceans. When not traveling the world on land or underwater, she lives in Oakland, California.
Beloved and the Pepper Tree
written by Ann Gonzales and illustrated by Manu Montoya
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing (September 18, 2018)
Beloved and the Pepper Tree shares a wonderful message of how to cope with unwanted change when you’re a child…whether that be a military move, change in family dynamics, parent job change, etc.
Beloved and the Pepper Tree is a story about a little girl’s friendship with a tree. One day her mother tells her they will be moving, and Beloved must face moving forward and saying goodbye to her friend. Beloved is best friends with the Pepper Tree who lives down the hill from her house. She loves the Pepper Tree because it gives her shade to read in and branches to climb. When Mama informs Beloved they are moving away, Beloved is heartbroken. But the Pepper Tree has one last gift: a gift to help Beloved cope when everything changes.
My review of Beloved and the Pepper Tree
Change is hard, isn’t it? No matter what age we are or how many changes we’ve gone through, it’s still hard. If you had to go through a big change when you were a child, chances are, you still remember it vividly! I remember moving to a new house when I was about 8. I loved the new house, but leaving the old house was hard. It was so small, but to me, at the time, it didn’t seem small. It seemed magical and wonderful with fuzzy wallpaper, old bottles and a huge old stove in the basement. You see, the house had been my great grandparents’ house and had been in the family for years. We didn’t or couldn’t take those things with us because they were too bulky, or we didn’t have a need for them. I’m sure you’ve got a similar “change” story.
Well, Beloved has a change to face. She’s moving and has to leave her friend the Pepper Tree. Beloved is sad and angry! She doesn’t want to leave! Thankfully, the Pepper Tree let’s her know that she will always be with her because she gives her a gift of her seeds.
This really is a delightful book with such cute illustrations. Whether your child is going to face a change or not, Beloved and the Pepper Tree is a great book to share with your child. They’ll eventually face change. It’s good for them to know that changes are hard on everyone. And just because we have to leave a place or friends doesn’t mean we can’t remember them.
Introducing Beloved’s Neighborhood!
Beloved’s Neighborhood is a virtual club for kids, where they can engage in games, contests, and craft projects related to the book. It’s fun for kids and totally free!
Kids (with parent’s consent) can join by going to Ann’s website and signing up where they’ll then receive a “welcome email” with a link to the very first project…how to create a sock puppet and host your own puppet show based on the characters in Ann’s book. Also included is a downloadable copy of the book and a read-aloud video (so kids can get to know the characters) as well as a welcome video from Ann with her own self-created puppet.
Once kids have created their own puppet, they are welcome to join BNC’s Facebook page and post their creations! Below is a link to both the sign-up page and the Facebook page.
Join the Facebook group to post your kids’ creations here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/264664861299241/
About the author
Ann Gonzales is…
an author, artist, activist, and spiritual seeker. Since 2003 she has been exploring spirituality through writing, meditating, painting, and continuing her yoga practice. Ann founded Ann Gonzales Art in 2014 marrying her two passions … art and healing.
In 2016 she traveled to India where she had a profound spiritual awakening. It was on this trip that Beloved and the Pepper Tree was written in one sitting. She believes it was a “spiritual download”. A gift directly from The Divine. Since then, Beloved has taken her on a magical journey allowing her to meet people and have experiences she otherwise would not have had. Much like the little girl in the story, Ann opened herself to receive the gift of change and the results have been extraordinary.
When she is not writing, Ann can be found facilitating Easel Does It – Art for Healing and Recovery workshops. These workshops use art materials, guided prompts, paint, collage, and other art mediums to help sufferers of trauma, abuse and grief give “voice” to emotions, dealing with struggles otherwise not expressed, helping them discover what their images are saying. Clarity, expression, and acceptance lead to healing. She also enjoys painting, reading and traveling. Ann lives in Southern California with her bossy cat Ziggy.
Ann has conducted monthly workshops throughout Southern California at Ohana House Sober Living, Leucadia; Green Oak Ranch, Vista; Casa Pacifica, Solana Beach; Wounded Warriors, Camp Pendleton, and Evolve, San Diego. She works with individuals and private groups in her studio and on site.