Australian sea life by Matt Chun
Hardie Grant Egmont, 2019. ISBN: 9781760504694. 36pp, hbk.
Even though Australia is surrounded by ocean, not everyone has the chance to visit it regularly and even fewer have had the opportunity to explore it as a scuba diver and really see the diversity of life under the waves. (Believe me, it is a fascinating world and even more diverse at night.) So in this companion to the 2019 CBCA shortlisted Australian birds, Matt Chun has taken his talents beneath the surface to give us a peek at what is in the waters that enclose us.
From the Great White Shark to the Dugong to the Weedy Sea Dragon, readers can explore and discover pictorial and textual descriptions of familiar and not-so creatures that are part of our natural seascape. The attention to detail is again superb, and while most children won't recognise as many of the species as they might have in Australian birds, this is the perfect time, with summer and beach holidays around the corner, to pique their curiosity, raise their awareness and inspire thoughts of conservation.
If Australian birds inspired your class to be involved in this year's Aussie Bird Count later this month, then perhaps there could be an in-school project to identify the marine creatures the students discover over summer.
If we are to protect our planet and its inhabitants, knowing about them first so they are valued is essential and this is the perfect starter.