The deep end by Drew Sheneman

cover image

Subtitled Real facts about the ocean, this is a funny and inspiring combination of two stories: one giving the reader a host of facts about the ocean and a parallel story of piratical Brownbeard and his parrot, Alan.

With sweeping images of the ocean, children will love looking at the enormous swathe of detail presented to them to enjoy. Each page offers a new breathtaking panorama.

Beginning and ending with an marvellous illustration of Brownbeard’s ship, every page between will entertain and inform the readers.

They will follow Brownbeard across the oceans, calling in at many different environments.  A story about ancient Mariners sets the scene with Brownbeard now in a dingy after having to walk the plank, is besieged by a giant Kraken, one of the stories of old. He meets whales and dugongs, then finds a ship taking a submersible to the deeper ocean. With stones hanging around its base to take the vehicle to the bottom of the sea, we turn the page to find an images of a modern submersible exploring the deeper ocean levels where animals that glow in the dark live, there being no natural light at these depths.

He meets a scientist, and a submarine, a polar bear perched precariously on what is left of an ice floe, he watches as a catch of fish is pulled of the sea, and sees an oil rig, before coming back to his ship. In between all the fun of his trip, pages are devoted to facts about the seas which young readers will enjoy reading and sharing.

I loved reading this entertaining picture book scanning the pages for facts and fun, laughing along with Brownbeard and Alan, and poring over pages such as the one showing an ancient map of the sea, or the pages showing the model submersible scanning the bottom of the ocean.

Themes: The sea, Oceans, Submersibles, Submarines, Kraken, Fish, Pirates.

Fran Knight