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 Forsythe

Thank you to Chronicle Books for sending us a copy of this fascinating biography, we’ve learnt a lot from reading this book.

8 thoughts on “The Brilliant Deep by Kate Messner & Matthew Forsythe

  1. 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

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