Review of ‘Beachcombing’
Thanks to Dr Sam Lloyd, Children’s Books Daily chief science and nature book reviewer, we have our very first book review of 2023! Thank you Dr Sam! No doubt there’s a beach visit or two planned for over the holidays and this book is a fabulous guide to exploring the sea-shore and all the creatures that inhabit it. If you live in-land, this book is a wonderful opportunity to understand more about our coastline and maybe start planning a beach trip!
Thank you to Dr Sam, who not only provides amazing science and nature book reviews, but also gorgeous baked goods and fresh eggs. She’s the ultimate neighbour! I urge you to follow her on Facebook and Instagram and help your kids (and yourselves) connect with science and understand nature that little bit more. Dr Sam’s aim is to grow little minds into big thinkers – a worthy pursuit!
Reviewer: Dr Sam Lloyd
Title: Beachcombing: A guide to the seashores of the Southern Hemisphere
Illustrator/Author/Design: Ceridwen Fraser
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing, 2021
Themes: Exploring seashores, marine life, Southern Hemisphere, ocean currents, rock pools, seabirds.
by Ceridwen Fraswer
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Beaches are the windows to our oceans
Beachcombing: A guide to seashores of the Southern Hemisphere by Ceridwen Fraser is a fascinating and engaging book that provides a perfect excuse for a trip to the beach! The book is thoughtfully laid out with selection of impressive photos and informative diagrams. Approximately A5 in size, the book is small enough to tag along for trips to the seashore and for the little people in your life to handle it with ease.
Beachcombing is certainly more than a field guide, offering informative and useful insights into seashore and marine environments. Rather than just highlighting and identifying the species you might expect to find (which is does very nicely), the guide provides a basis for the environmental processes associated with marine environments, as well as focussing on the fascinating aspects of the seashore around rockpools, the intertidal zone and the treasures that wash up on the shore.
Appropriately starting with a short but important section on “Looking After Our Beaches”, the book goes on to cover key themes of coastal environments and seashores, including:
- Tides, waves and currents;
- Organisms & treasures you might find on the sand and in “the shallows” (rocky shore/intertidal zone) such as goose barnacles, bluebottles, shark eggs, fossils and seas stars;
- Debris and pollution, including plastic waste; and
- Other marine and coastal creatures including deep sea fish, sea birds and marine giants, such as whales and giant squid.
Seaweed jewellery at Moonee Beach, NSW
The photos throughout the book are really fantastic and super helpful in recognising organisms that you may have seen before but may not have been able to identify at the time. This includes sea tulips (looking like a cross between a dead, but super large orange tadpole and some sort of giant dehydrated root vegetable), beachworms (looking somewhat like a centipede) and crazy looking shark eggs.
If you have a small person in your life interested in Australian sea life and oceans check out the review I wrote on Zobi and the Zoox: A Story of Coral Bleaching and Australian Sea Life for Children’s Books Daily. These reviews also include information on coastal and marine environments and opportunities to get involved, including citizen science.
A terrific and accessible guide well worth a read and investment!
Dr Samantha Lloyd
Dr Samantha Lloyd is an ecologist and environmental manager with a passion for the Australian bush, children’s literature, dance, music and baking. Sam firmly believes in the value of engaging environmental and science-based children’s literature to nurture children’s insatiable curiosity and their need to understand why things are the way they are. Sam is keenly focused on growing little minds into big thinkers.
Sam graduated from the University of Wollongong with a Bachelor of Science (Biology) and a PhD (pollination ecology) in 2006 and has worked as an environmental manager and an entomologist. Sam’s ability to interpret and critically evaluate science-based publications for children has led her to be the chief children’s science reviewer for award winning website Children’s Books Daily and for the Ecological Society of Australia.
Sam’s favourite authors and illustrators include Arthur Rackham, Roald Dahl, May Gibbs, C.S Lewis, Brian Froud and Mem Fox. Sam lives in beautiful Brisbane with her husband, two young children, one dog and five chooks.
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