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The Brilliant Deep by Kate Messner & Matthew Forsythe

The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding The World’s Coral Reefs tells the true story of Ken Nedimyer who has discovered a way to grow coral. Ken’s experiments and dedication to preserving the reefs in The Florida Keys has also led to him teaching others around the world how to save the coral in their own countries.The Brilliant Deep - Story SnugThe Story: Ken Nedimyer’s father worked at NASA but Ken wasn’t interested in space, he was more interested in the ocean. He swam and scuba dived but as he got older he started to notice that there were less fish in the Florida Keys and the coral reefs were losing their colour. Ken and his daughter started experimenting with growing coral and discovered a way to help save the coral reefs.The Brilliant Deep gives a fascinating insight into the danger that our coral reefs are in. Ken’s work is helping to ensure their survival and along with a group of volunteers, The Coral Restoration Foundation, he has planted coral which is also now reproducing itself.This beautifully illustrated picture book with its simple, easy to read text is amazingly informative and thought provoking, it gives a really interesting insight into how Ken and his volunteers work. The idea of coral being alive fascinated my daughter and we also learnt about the important role that sea urchins play in the survival of the reefs. We love the earthy, muted tones of Matthew Forsythe’s illustrations, especially those that show Ken diving in the reef. Our favourite picture shows divers hanging coral onto special underwater trees to help them grow before they are planted on the reefs.The Brilliant Deep would be a great picture book to use in an Early Years / Key Stage One classroom as part of a topic on oceans. It can be used to stimulate discussion about how coral is a living entity, where in the world coral grows and how we can look after our oceans to ensure that the creatures living in them are protected. Information, links and coral reef vocabulary are included in the back of the book with suggestions as to how children can become involved with saving the reefs.Age Range: 5+Author: Kate Messner / Illustrator: Matthew ForsytheThank you to Chronicle Books for sending us a copy of this fascinating biography, we’ve learnt a lot from reading this book.

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8 responses to “The Brilliant Deep by Kate Messner & Matthew Forsythe”


  1. Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs avatar

    What an informative book. I love that it teaches our little ones the importance of preserving the reefs and our ocean life. Such a fun way to learn!

    Thanks for sharing with #MMBC. Hope you can join us today.


    1. Catherine avatar

      I think it’s brilliant that this book introduces children to a part of the world and a concept that they may not be aware of.


  2. Bella at Dear Mummy Blog avatar

    There’s a whole wide world to discover under the sea! We should be looking into our oceans for discovery first before launching into space. Great that it’s raising debate about our coral reefs #TriedTested


    1. Catherine avatar

      I think you are so right, our planet needs all the attention and love we can give it.


  3. Fiona Cambouropoulos avatar

    Protecting our coral reef is so important, what a wonderful looking book #TriedTested


    1. Catherine avatar

      It is and this a great book for developing a child’s awareness of the problems facing the reefs.


  4. Jenny (The Little Adventurer) avatar

    What a fabulous, colourful and important topic for a children’s book – I’m sure my 6-year-old would find this fascinating. #triedtested


    1. Catherine avatar

      It is really fascinating and Kate tells Ken’s story using beautifully lyrical language.

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