Children's Book

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Sea Secrets: Tiny Clues to a Big Mystery

Reviewed by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), a unique children's book that links two pelagic oceanic ecosystems;  the polar waters west of the Antarctic Peninsula and a coastal upwelling biome in the southern sector of the California Current system. These two ecosystems provide an ideal setting to investigate the interplay between the ocean environment and its plankton inhabitants.

This book invites young readers (ages 5-10) to explore ecological concepts relevant to ocean ecosystems both locally and internationally. It examines two of the most abundant species of krill, Euphausia pacifica and Euphausia superba, and the unusual life challenges they face in their respective environments. The exploration of the animals they impact, their lives, habitats and survival strategies holds inherent fascination for young readers and teaches them about the interconnectedness of organisms in the ocean's food web. Drawing upon rich scientific research from both CCE and Palmer LTER, photographs and artwork combine to illustrate the pelagic food web above and below the equator, emphasizing the impact of a very important foundation species.

This children's book emphasizes the long-term process of science and is a unique medium to communicate the elements of ecological research. The book brings together the talents of Mary M. Cerullo - an award-winning author of more than a dozen children's books, freelance artist/illustrator Kirsten Carlsen, and Beth Simmons Education and Outreach coordinator for Palmer LTER.  This children's book is a cross-site synthesis project advancing ocean literacy and marine science education.


Resources to accompany the book
Sea Secrets Field Journal
Climate Change and the Adélie Penguin
Ecosystem Illustrations
       The Antarctic Peninsula, 
       Florida Marine Ecosystem, 
       The California Current Ecosystem, 
       The Alaska Marine Ecosystem
Species Identification Cards
       The Antarctic Species, 
       The Florida Species, 
       The California Species, 
       The Alaska Species

Learning Activity
     Ocean Ecosystems

Books in the LTER Children's Series

Kupe and the Corals
A story of Kupe, a young boy who undertakes an amazing voyage of discovery to learn about corals and the importance of reefs to many animals that depend on them.  While fishing with his father, Kupe observes an astonishing 'bubble' event and is amazed by this sight he captures the bubbles in a jar.  Kupe visits with an elder from his village and a scientists from a nearby marine lab in an attempt to show them what he's captured and learn more.  Kupe and the Corals is written by Jacqueline L. Padilla-Gamino and illustrated by Marjorie Leggitt as part of the LTER Network Childrens' Book series.  It is available in English, Spanish, French and Tahitian.




Ellies Log
After a huge tree crashes to the ground during a winter storm, ten-year-ld ellie and her new friend, Ricky, explore the forest where Ellie lives.  Together, they learn how trees provide a habitat for plants and animals high in the forest canopy, down among mossy old logs, and deep in the pools of a stream.  The plants, insects, birds, and mammals they discover come to life in colored pen-and-iink illustrations.  Written by Judith L. Li and illustrated by M.L.  Herring.




And the Tide Comes In
A narrative told from the point of view of ayoung girl who is showing her visiting cousin the salt marsh.  The children go to the marsh every day over the course of four days, slowly building up their knowlege of the ecosystem.  They experience the different stages of the tide, marvel over the adaptations of the plants and animals that they encounter, and have fun getting muddly along the way.  Written by Merryl Alber, and illustrated by Joyce Mihran Turley.



One Night in the Everglades
Follow two scientists as they spend a night in the Everglades collecting water samples, photographic wildlife, and sloshing through marshes in an attempt to understand they mysterious ecosystem.  Part of a long-term effort to return the Everglades to a natrual state after a century of development, the scientists try to figure out what the "river of grass" was like prior to human settlement.  Along the way, they deal with razor-sharp sawgrass and alligators and turtles and are even surprised by the sudden presence of what is known in the Everglades as a "frog-gigger" - one who hunts and collects frogs for food!  Written by Laurel larsen; Illustrated by Joyce Turley.  Available in English and Spanish.



My Water Comes from the San Juan Mountains
Written colloboratively by Tiffany Fourment, Koren Nydick, Gary Gianiny and Mary Anne Goff, the book introduces children to the nation's watershed, the Continental Divide, and how snowmelt froms the headwaters of the rivers and streams that bring life to the land below on the Rocky Mountain's western Slope. The entire water cycle is described from evaporation to glacier formation and the various life zones that water runs through on its way from alpine tundra to the rich farmland of the Western Slope. 





My Water Comes From The Mountains
The story of My Water Comes from the Rocky Mountains, written by environmental educator Tiffany Fourment, takes children on an illustrative journey from the snow high on the Continental Divide to water in their faucet tap. The book is illustrated by Dorothy Emerling and was edited from the first edition by Lindsay Weber and Kenneth Nova. This educational narrative introduces children in the Rocky Mountain states to the distinctive wildlife, ecosystems, and diverse uses of water along the way from the mountains to the plains.



The Lost Seal
The Lost Seal children's story, written by Antarctic scientist Diane McKnight, describes the first documented encounter with a live seal in the remote McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. This educational story tells of one seal's travels in the Antarctic desert and provides an engaging framework for conveying how different Antarctica and the Dry Valleys are from the environments with which children are familiar.