Monday, April 4, 2011

Picture Book (Science): Ocean Seasons by Ron Hirschi

Summary of Ocean Seasons:  
Similar to the seasonal changes in plant and animal life on land, there are ones in the ocean as well.  The ocean bursts with color in the spring as sea plants stretch and multiple their foliage.  Like on the land, baby animals are born in the spring and summer when there is abundant food and optimal weather.  Plankton sparkles in the sunlight.  Marine life grows bigger and stronger in preparation for the colder months ahead.  As the autumn winds blow across the ocean, plankton begin to die.  Salmon trek back toward the fresh water where they swim upstream, driving many animals to their migration to hunt them. The winter prompts the humpback whale to swim to warmer waters until the spring weather returns.  Ocean Seasons is set in the Pacific Ocean, but it reflect comparable changes in oceans around the world. 

Using a distinctive, seasonal format, author and biologist Ron Hirschi brings to light the habits and changes in the ocean, providing an excellent teaching occasion to draw parallels to seasonal changes on land. The dynamic, meticulous illustrations (by Kirsten Carlson) offer a glimpse into this mysterious underwater world from the salmon swimming upstream to the humpback whales leaping through the air.  Many other fascinating marine creatures and plants are introduced, such as puffins, urchins, plankton, and orcas.  In a natural, narrative approach marine food chains and habitats are also revealed.  The food web cards provided in the book allow children the chance to recreate the food chains to demonstrate and to increase their knowledge.  Ocean Seasons is ideal for children ages 4-8. 

Teaching Opportunities: 
Sylvan Dell has created a 24-page across the curriculum teaching guide as well as quizzes and other resources at their website. 

This post is part of the Non-Fiction Monday blog hop hosted by L.L. Owens.  Check out other non-fiction titles at her website


  1. I'd never thought of seasons under the sea, but it makes sense. I knew certain sea animals migrated with the seasons, but I'd never thought about growth patterns. I may have to buy this one for our collection!

  2. What a great idea to think about the seasons and the ocean! Thank you for this post.

  3. This looks so cool. You do think of under the ocean being all one season, but it sounds like it really isn't! Neat!

  4. I agree with you all. I never realized there were seasonal changes in the ocean until I read this book. Picture books are so awewome! :)

  5. I never considered there were seasons in the ocean! Wow! What a neat book and idea.
    Thank you so much for coming by my blog. Your 'home' here is very nice--I look forward to coming back for another visit.
    Have a great day.
    Amy O'Quinn


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