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5 Great Books to Read on World Oceans Day

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5 Great Books to Read on World Oceans Day


June 8th is World Oceans Day, a day to celebrate the wonders of the blue planet and focus on protecting and conserving our oceans for the future.

The ocean covers about 70% of the planet and is home to more than half of all life on earth. But did you know that it also provides most of the oxygen we breathe, helps filter and clean our drinking water, and regulates the climate?

Although we have only explored a small portion of the ocean — around 10% of its vast expanse — scientists have made amazing discoveries about its diversity of wildlife, its remarkable geography, and its incredible impact on our daily lives.

So to celebrate our amazing oceans, here are five great books about ocean life that everyone can enjoy.


1. Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins & Porpoises by Erich Hoyt

“Required reading . . . In the beautifully illustrated Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises, award-winning author and whale researcher Erich Hoyt takes readers into the field for an intimate encounter with the roughly 90 species of cetaceans that live in the world's oceans . . . His impassioned argument for the ongoing need for international protection of at-risk populations and their increasingly damaged habitat is impossible to ignore.”

Review in Canadian Geographic


2. Creatures of the Deep by Erich Hoyt

“Hoyt takes us on a journey. We begin in a place where there is still a little light and we end up in an ocean-scape of pitch-black darkness, where the pressure per-square-inch is simply mind-boggling. The pictures are stunning, the prose is clean, and you will gain a renewed sense of admiration for the scientists who are exploring this bewildering territory . . . the images are likely to haunt both your dreams and your nightmares. There is exquisite beauty down below, but also a rich array of monsters.”

Review in Geographical Magazine


3. Reef Life: A Guide to Tropical Marine Life by Brandon Cole and Scott W. Michael

“Captivatingly beautiful. This book is beautiful from the front cover to the back. The photographs are captivating and the information regarding the photos is concise and well written. This is a wonderful coffee table book and makes a terrific gift for anyone who loves underwater life or has ever gone diving. It is the ultimate guide to tropical marine life!”

5-star Amazon reader review


4. Ocean Drifters: A Secret World Beneath the Waves by Dr. Richard Kirby

“Individually, most plankton are tiny and unobtrusive, no larger than a grain of sand or a crumb of bread . . . Collectively, however, plankton are mighty. . . Richard Kirby loves plankton as only a marine biologist can. Fortunately, he is also a master plankton portraitist. The roughly eighty photomicrographs in this book, in which his subjects appear backlist against a black background, highlight the grace and intricacy of plankton structure . . . It's a celebration of magnificent diversity at the microscopic level.”

Review in Natural History Magazine


5. World Ocean Census: A Global Survey of Marine Life by Darlene Trew Crist, Gail Scowcroft, James M. Harding Jr, and Sylvia Earle

“Glorious photographs, full of amazing forms and colors, capture many creatures readers will find entirely unfamiliar, as well the cutting-edge technology used to uncover them. Science writer Crist, along with scientists Scowcroft and Harding, have produced a highly readable text with stunning photos that fully engage the imagination.”

Review in Publishers Weekly


For conservation-minded kids:

Saving Turtles: A Kids’ Guide to Helping Endangered Creatures by Sue Carstairs

“Saving the planet's endangered and threatened species evokes equal parts urgency and wonder that will have young animal lovers starting petitions. First-time author Sue Carstairs — a veterinarian and executive and medical director at the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre — writes with passion and clarity about wildlife conservation . . . She sets a friendly tone in her introductory note but quickly gets down to business, stating: turtles are in trouble all over the world.”

Review in Quill & Quire


Discover more great books for World Oceans Day here.


Get the books:

 Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises

 Creatures of the Deep

 Reef Life: A Guide to Tropical Marine Life

 Ocean Drifters: A Secret World Beneath the Waves

 World Ocean Census: A Global Survey of Marine Life

 Saving Turtles: A Kids' Guide to Helping Endangered Creatures

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