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How the Sea Came to Be
(And All the Creatures In It)

Ages 6-10
HARDCOVER; Published: 4/25/2023
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5478-0
Price: $ 18.99
56 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 10 x 10.5
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A lyrical, spectacular history of the ocean—from its dramatic evolutionary past to its marvelously biodiverse present.

“For millions of years these first bits of life
Became more, and then more, and then more.”

Long, long ago, when the Earth was young and new, the world was a fiery place. Volcanoes exploded from deep down below, and steamy, hot clouds rose up high. Rain poured down for thousands of years, filling the world’s very first oceans. There the teeniest stirrings of life began. Earth’s creatures grew bigger and bigger, evolving into exciting forms like jellyfish, coral, and worms. Millions of years passed. Down in the depths and up on the surface, ocean life grew and spread. Now the sea teems with all kinds of animals—squid, turtles, dolphins, barracudas, even glowing fish, all living in the waters where long, long ago, life itself came to be. 

Spanning 4.5 billion years of evolution, this extensively researched book is an accessible introduction to geology, oceanography, and marine biology. Entrancing verse, awe-inspiring art, and fascinating back matter capture the mysterious beauty of the ocean and the incredible organisms who call it home. 

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"An ode to undersea life with visuals that beg to be animated, just as the text begs to be sung.”

Horn Book Magazine
“The rhyming stanzas are impressive, filled with words and cadences that are entertaining to read aloud, and yet also precise in conveying scientific concepts about geological and biological processes. . . . Hall’s . . . mixed-media illustrations balance creative use of color and scientific accuracy: portraying the fiery black and orange landscapes of the young planet, the steamy grays and whites of the emerging ocean waters, and then the beautiful blues of the ocean across millions of years and down hundreds of meters.”
Shelf Awareness
“Jennifer Berne possesses a tremendous gift for sharing the wonders of nonfiction with young readers. . . . This beautiful picture book is a prize addition to any library.”
Foreword Reviews
“An illuminating, impactful, and inspiring science text for budding ocean-related scientists and natural history enthusiasts.”
School Library Journal (starred review)
“From the moment readers open this book and see its beautiful, frenetic endpapers, it’s clear they are in for a fantastic journey into the depths of the ocean. A first-purchase for all collections.”
Shelf Awareness (starred review)
How the Sea Came to Be should captivate young scientists, historians, and wordsmiths alike. This beautiful picture book is a prize addition to any library.”