2 brilliant books about the Deep Blue Sea

Book Adventurers

Although we’re all longing to fly off to distant climes, phrasebook in hand and a fully sharpened appetite for new experiences, this summer will no doubt see more people holiday in the UK and at home than has been seen in decades

Deep Blue Sea books

If you are truly staycationing at home, our book club will conjure up (we hope) some happy memories of seaside trips in the past as well as whet your appetite for sun, sea and sand in the future.

For those lucky enough to have secured a holiday let or hotel on Britain’s varied and beautiful shores, these 2 brilliant book choices will amplify the fun, themes and world of the  ‘Deep Blue Sea’. 

The books we chose are designed to inspire and captivate their young readers. They are also carefully chosen to gently open out wider themes and topics that impact the lives of all of us, including our children – themes which are sometimes tricky to explore. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. 

The Blue Giant

Author & Illustrator: Katie Cottle
Age suitability: 5-7 years
The Blue Giant cover

Shortlisted this year for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize illustrated Book Prize, The Blue Giant is Katie’s second book as author and illustrator and continues the eco theme from her first book, The Green Giant . 

Meera and her mother are off to the seaside, all is well until a big blue giant emerges from the waves as if they were made of the sea itself!

The towering but friendly giant needs their help – the sea, and all the creatures that have been happily living beneath its surface are being threatened by pollution and the menace of plastic waste.

Meera and her mum will have to to find a way to help the sea as well as think about ways that they can adapt their everyday lives to reduce plastic waste.

The Blue Giant is a gentle way to introduce young children to the issues of plastic waste, pollution and making our world a cleaner place. It’s also a great way to empower them, offering clear and simple solutions to a growing ecological problem.

Katie’s bright illustrations create a vivid and stunning seascape for Meera and her mum to explore and the seaside depictions are all based on Katie’s upbringing on the stunning Gower peninsula. So, after reading this book, you can actually go and visit some of the places the book is set.  

Learn how to Draw-along with Katie in our Book Adventurers’ Summer Package. The Blue Giant forms the basis of our Drama-play Book Adventure. Our Book Adventurer’s Club is now available to buy, so for a summer of creative adventure on the high seas, sign your child up now!

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Ocean Meets Sky

Author: The Fan Brothers
Age suitability: 4-8 years

Ocean Meets Sky offers a multi-layered, exquisite mix of story and memory richly flowing through the pages of this hugely cinematic picture book. Finn lives by the sea and every time he looks out of his window he is reminded of the many wonderful stories his grandfather told him about the place where the ocean meets the sky.

His grandfather had a good, happy and very long life and now that he’s gone, Finn decides to remember and honour him by reliving some of those stories. Ocean Meets Sky takes the reader on an extraordinary adventure on the high seas in a homemade boat with a small boy with lots of wonderful memories.

From the captivating Library Islands to the Golden Fish and the colossal intricately drawn whale, the illustrations in this book will transport you into a miraculous world of the beauty and cloud animals you might see if you are lucky enough to find the place where the Ocean Meets Sky.

With a gentle and easy way into talking about grief and loss with young children this is a dream-like odyssey which has its origins in Terry and Eric Fan’s Asian heritage with its culture of passing stories on from generation to generation as well as finding ways to honour your elders.  

If you sign up to Book Adventurers, you can meet the amazing Fan Brothers in their very own double-handed Read-along for Book Adventurers and see their exclusive Author’s Scoop. Plus, learn how to make your very own boat, just like Finn does in the book, in our Ocean Meets Sky boat craft. 

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Ocean Meets Sky cover

About the author: Katie Cottle

Katie Cottle

Originally from Swansea, Katie Cottle studied illustration at UWE and now lives in Bristol working as an illustrator and print-maker.

Her work is mainly based around a narrative and often informed by the marks and colours that are created through traditional lithography. She also works digitally, using an iPad, and occasionally paints with gouache.

Katie won the Batsford Prize for children’s book illustration 2017 with her story ‘Home grown’, which became her debut picture book, The Green Giant (Pavillion, 2019).  

She has been highly commended at the Macmillan Prize for Illustration on numerous occasions and received a ‘One to Watch’ award at D & AD New Blood in 2017. 

About the authors: The Fan Brothers

The Fan Brothers

Eric and Terry Fan were born in Hawaii and both studied at the Ontario College of Art and design.

Terry’s work is a blend of traditional and contemporary techniques using ink and graphite mixed with digital. Eric has a passion for vintage bikes, clockwork contraptions and ‘impossible dreams’.

They began collaborating as children on stories with heavily illustrated pages and their first book The Night Gardener was critically acclaimed. 

Ocean Meets Sky was a finalist for The Governor General’s Literary Award and was shortlisted for The Kate Greenaway Medal. 

Last year they published The Barnabus Project, a suspenseful, poignant and magical story about following your dreams and finding where you truly belong and this September see’s a brand new story, It Fell from the Sky, a whimsical book about community, art and the importance of giving back. 

The brothers are also recipients of the Sendak Fellowship 2017 and the Dilys Evans Founder’s Award from the Society of Illustrators.