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CHILDREN'S BOOKS ..

 
I believe in what I call the three "E"s in book publication - a title should Educate, Entertain and Encourage. Nowhere is this doctrine more important than in the making of a children's book. We, as parents and adults, need to ensure that our children learn about the marine world and appreciate the vast resource and habitat of the oceans, and its importance to everyone on earth, and indeed, the future of the world. We can do this by entertaining them appropriately, and making it fun for them to learn. And if we can encourage them to further educate, and entertain, themselves, then all the better. A book that achieves all three is a winner.

I have been neglectful in not recognising this in our own promotion of marine books. No doubt the arrival of my son Sam in 1999 had much to do with my own education. Naturally, when buying books for Sam, I would tend to buy something with a marine or diving theme - thats what I was interested in, and so help me, my son was going to do the same! (I used the same philosophy when 'encouraging' him to support 'my' football team, until he asked one day "Daddy, why does Carlton lose all the time". He then said he wanted to barrack for Richmond - now thats out of the frying pan into the fire if ever I heard it. But he came across when a favourite aunty, a staunch Collingwood supporter, gave Sam a promotion doll in Carlton colours. Sam called him Koutafides, and he, and I must say the team, has never looked back. Thankyou Aunty Di.)  But I digress. In reading Sam books on the ocean, I realised that he was talking a healthy interest in the marine world, and he never stops asking about marine life, and shows a fascination for ships and shipwrecks. This is wonderful. If I can encourage other parents to do the same, then I am sure the world will be just that little bit better. 

It is my aim to find and promote only the best of the children's books relevant to the oceans. I have wonderful expertise to assist me - my son Sam of course, and his wonderful mother, Wendy, who is a primary school teacher, with a passion for education in literature and the arts. All books will need to meet the three "E"s principle. So, if a book is listed here, it means that we, at least, think it worthy of a place in any home with children. And lets not kid ourselves - we adults can learn a lot from kid's books too. 

Okay - now listen carefully Sam - it is spelt C E P H A L O P O D. Good grief, what do they teach you in pre-school, son? 


 
UNDER THE SEA  Becca Saunders
When I heard that there was a new marine book for children coming out on the Austrakian market I was not over enthusiastic to say the least, as good kids books on the ntural sciences are few and far between, but as soon as realised that the author was Becca Saunders I had not hesitation in incluiding it on our list. Becca is an Aussie, well known for her excellent photography and writing. In keeping with my three ‘E's' ofevaluation, I must say that this book meets all the criteria, of educating the young reader, encouraging the reader, and entertaining. It is idea for any child, irrespective of their present interest in the sea, and surely must be the ideal gift from any mum and dad who is a diver, for they will most certainly appreciate the beauty of the exotic world beneath the seas. This may be just the thing to encourage them to go and have a look for themselves. Becca has, as I ould expect, not dwelt on the tropical speciaes only, for much of the book is on temperate water fishes and invertebrates. Amongst the colourful chapters are ‘Among the Seagrass, Kelp and Algae', ‘Wild, Weird and Rare', ‘When the Lights Go Out', ‘Partnerships in the Sea', etc.  A great book. Hardcover, laminated boards, A4 size, 48 pages, full colour throughout. $22.00
THE DRAGONS OF KANGAROO ISLAND
Written and Illustrated by Jacqueline Vickery Stanley.
Australian author, illustrator, educationist and diver, Jacqueline Vickery Stanley is based in Canada and Texas, but maintains close ties to Australia through her family in Melbourne, and friends. Her first book, Wolfie, The Wolf-Eel was a resounding success, but lttle known in Australia as the delighfully ugly yet beautifully peaceful animal is a Canadian species. The author's second book comes back home, with a wonderful tale of Lucille, the Weedy Seadragon, so popular in south-eastern waters, especially off South Australia's Kangaroo Island. Unfortunately, Lucille wants to be like her cousin Leslie, a Leafy Seadragon. After several adventures, Lucille realises that being yourself is the most important thing. It is a deligtful tale for youngsters, especially if they hve an afinity with the sea, which, of course, they all should have. If you have a child, or you are like me and into a wonderfully naieve second-childhood, read this book. Includes a brief appendix on the biology of the seadragons, and other fish. Hardcover, dust-jacket, beautifully illustrated in colour throughout, 34 pages. Ages: four to ninety-four. $32.00  *** HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ***
THE AMAZING OCTOPUS
Bobbie Kalman.
What amazing creatures they are.I love ‘em, and children find them just as fascinating. This excellent book is fully illustrated throughout with colour photographs and drawings. Text is large for ease of reading by the child and parent. Chapters include:  What is an Octopus?, Sensing surroundings, Masters of disguise, Great escapes, Big barins, Ocean food web, Octopuses and people. The danger of the Blue-ringed octopus is mentioned of course, and sensible advice about not keeping an octopus in captivity - they are not pets. 
Format: Softcover, width 210 x depth 240 mm, full colour, 32 pages, with glossary and even an index. 
Theme: Eductional fact. Ideal to read to a child, or for a young reader. A good title to retain for future reference. 
Ages: For children four to fourteen. $15.00
Sorry, no longer in stock.
OCEAN CREATURES Jigsaw Book
This is one of the most enjoyable childrens' book you will find anywhere. It is a fun ‘book' as it required interaction by the child in one of the most enjoyabl fo children's pastimes - the jigsaw puzzle. Ther are five of them, one per page, each of a different underwater theme - the whales and dolphins, the colourful cral reef, the denizons of the deep, the sharks and skates of the open sea, and cratures of the polar world. The jigsaw pieces lift out of the page, and are then re-assembled within the boarders of the page, and so are kept nice and neat for the next time. A superb idea and great fun. The pieces are not simply flimsy pieces of paper - they are of solid card similar to mot and indeed better than the regular boxed jigsaw. My son never tires of this book and shares it with all of his young visitors. It is also a great family ‘book' in that parents can join in, and hopefully, talk to the youngster about the various marine creatures. Of the 3Es, whereas it is relatively low on education, it is high on entertainment, and with parenal direction, is fine on encouragement to learn more. A very highly recommended book. It would make a great gift. 
Format: Oblong format, 330 x 240mm, still board pages of about 3mm each, in full colour.
Theme: Fun first, education second. Great family book. Ages: Five upward. $24.95
Sorry, no longer in stock. 
ONE FISH, TWO FISH, RED FISH, BLUE FISH
Dr. Seuss. 
Another superb nonsence rhyming book from the creator of the loveable Cat in a Hat, a great hit with all children. An excellent book for an introuction to numbers and quantity, in a fun way of course. It is not all marine based, but that matters little. A great fun book.
Format:Hardcover, 62 pages, full colour throughout.
Theme: Just a fun book of rhyme, well illustrated to allow interaction with the child, and with a subtle learning theme into numbers and quantity. Ages: Four to eight. $18.00
Sorry, no longer in stock. 
THE HIDDEN FOREST
Jeannie Baker.
An excellent books as it perfectly demonstrates the three ‘E's of Education, Entainment and Encouragement. The book is set in the superb kelp forests off the Tasman Peninsula on the central east coast of Tasmania, which really do exist and are some of he most fascinating in the world, hundreds of feet tall. It tells of a young boy pulling up a trap for a feed of fish when it snags and he is flipped out of his little dinghy. Face down in the water, he sees a blurry alient world. He is scared, and scrambles back into the boat. He needs to recover the trap and asks a young friend to help. Sophie is a snorkel diver, and encourages young Ben to freedive with her, so h can see the marvels of the underwater world. Ben is concernd about what may be lurking below, but he gives it his best shot. "To his surprise Ben finds himself floating above a mysterious underwater forest that sways back and forth with the rolling of the waves". Ben is engrossed in his new world. The fish trap is released and brought to th surface. "But now, Ben sees things differently.... He sees how wonderful these creatures are here in their mysterious, hidden world. He feels this is where they belong".  Quite superb, brings a tear to the eye. Good on you Ben and Sophie. 
Format: Hardcover, laminated boards, 36 pages, A4 size, on 120 gsm art paper, beautifully illustrated in full colour throughout. 
Theme: Fiction. Its strength is in the storyline - the ability to overcome an initial fear and the  understanding of a different world which leads to a change of attitude. The final page also has a brief description of the kelp forest and where it grows. As Tasmania is losing some of its majestic forests, (land as well as kelp),perhaps there is a conservationist theme about this book. I have no problem with that. 
Ages: For children five upward. Ideal for parent-reading or the young reader. $34  
Sorry, no longer in stock. 
SEAHORSE REEF - A Story of the South Pacific.
Sally M.Walker, illustrated by Steven James Petruccio.
From the Smithsonian Ocean Collection, Smithsonian Institute.
Beautifuily illustrated, this is a story of a seahorse who lives in the Philippines. He is a male, and as we adults well know, it is he who carries the eggs after mating. Seahorse and his mate meet up with a number of marine animals in their immediate habitate, and their reaction and interaction with the animals in important. Is the parrotfish a threat to Seahorse. And what about the sea snake, or the crab? Finbally, Seahorse is ready to give ‘birth' to the baby seahorses, more than three hundred of them. How many will grow into adulthood? 
Format: Softcover, very well ilustrated in full colour, oblong format 290 x 215 mm, 32 pages. 
Theme: A factual tale told in a storylike fashion. Ideal to be read to a young child. Text is large and clear for the young reader. A delightful gift.
Ages: For children four to ten. $15.00
Sorry, no longer in stock. 
THE GREAT WHITE SHARK - Ruler of the Sea.
Kathleen Zoehfeld. Illustrated by Steven James Petruccio.
From thee Smithsonian Ocean Collection, Smithsonian Institute.
Oh dear, not another book on sharks. I was curious to see how it measured up to the 3E principle. As it comes from the Smithsonian Institute, I could assumn that this would not be yet another gratuitious ‘shark with big jaws' book. Similar in style to the Seahorse book above, it tells the tale of a young Great White, moulding fact with a storylike theme.  From four miles away, the Great White senses a dead whale being devoured by less dominant but older sharks, and comes in for its share. But little remains and she goes off searching for food. A school of Bass are not so fortunate. A sealion spots th Great Whale, and taunts her from the kelp. A school of Tuna pass by and the young Great White has food. "Month after month White Shark hunts. Her teeth grow wider and stronger. Her sleek gray body growns longer and stouter. Month after mkonths she grows more powerful, more skillful at the hunt. .... She is White Shark, ruler of the sea". Okay, lets look at th three ‘E's. It is light on education, high on entertainment (but for an older child), and so-so on encouragement. It is the parent who needs the encouragement, to supplement the tale with an understanding of the role that the Great White has in the sea, a role that is not simply a killing and eating machine. I don't think a child would appreciate this without additional input from the parent. If we must illustrate the ‘blood and guts' theme of shark predatorship, then we must indicate a cause, and bring in the ‘food chain of nature'. Its not pleasant, but it exists. Therefore, if the book was followed up with other more enlightening texts, then we may have educated the child. 
Format: Softcover, very well ilustrated in full colour, oblong format 290 x 215 mm, 32 pages. 
Theme: A factual tale told in a storylike fashion. Ideal to be read to a young child. Text is large and clear for the young reader.
Ages: For children six to ten. It may be wasted on a younger child as the images of the predatorship of the shark may be too strong to overcome the ‘wise education' of the parent. If it is to conform to the three ‘E's, it needs a parent's involvement. $15.00
Sorry, no longer in stock. 
WISH FOR A FISH - All About Sea Creatures
Bonnie Worth. Illustrated by Aristides Ruiz. 
What child doesn't know about Dr Seuss' Cat in a Hat, the grumpy skinny feline who does not particularly like green cheese and ham. In this wonderful tale for children of all ages, Cat takes a trip down under and introduces us to the wonderful sea creatures in the Sunny Zone, the Twilight Zone, the Dark Zone, and the deep Abyss. 
"I'm the Cat in the Hat,
and I hear you wish
to go down to the sea
and visit the fish".
Format: Hardcover, 48 pages, full colour throughout.
Theme: A fun book of rhyme in traditional Seuss style, with delightful drawings, an ideal story.
Ages: From two to a hundred and two.$18.00
Sorry, no longer in stock. 
ADDITIONAL TITLES
If we come across any exceptional childrens books that we do not distribute, we will list them here for your convenience. 
WOLFIE  THE WOLF-EEL. Written and illustrated by Jacqueline Vickery Stanley. 
Love 'em or leave 'em, Wolf-eels are the bull terriers of the sea, maligned and misunderstood because - well, they ain't exactly beautiful are they? But like my old bully Baxter, Wolfie is a loveable creature who just wants to have a home and be loved. Released from the aquarium into the northern Pacific Ocean, Wolfie has problems finding friends and a new home. But then he meets Ella and he lives happily ever after in cohabitated bliss. This is a great kids story, with large colourful paintings of interest to any child. The author is Australian and a prominent diver, now living in the USA. Within the fantasy biography of Wolfie lies an accurate life that has been verified by the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Centre, so young readers not only have a wonderful tale, but learn something of the life of the eel. A wonderful combination, and one which Jacqueline Stanley will exploit with further books. If you are a diver, and you have children, this book is a must. 
This was available direct from Canada but the email is no longer valid. Try a search on the internet. 
Oceans Enterprises, 303 Commercial Road, Yarram, Vic 3971, Australia.