Ocean Anatomy: The Curious Parts & Pieces of the World under the Sea
t the end of the street where I grew up on City Island, there was a beach. As a kid, I would walk the shore when the tide was out, looking for hermit crabs, starfish, and whatever else washed up. When the tide was high, we would swim in the bay.
For bigger surf, we headed to Jones Beach on Long Island.
With each huge wave, my sister and I had three choices: jump over, duck under it, or try to ride it to shore. I can still feel the burning sensation of saltwater going up my nose.
My family has always treasured being near the water.
My parents still live in that house. Every summer evening they go down to the beach to join the “sunset club,” where they chat with neighbors while the waves lap and the sun goes down.
Working on my books — Farm
On Instagram, posts showed kids
Anatomy, Nature Anatomy, and
learning from them, carrying them
Food Anatomy — has led me to
on nature walks, and copying
explore the world in a deeper way.
drawings from them.
But each book takes over a year
to create, and I couldn’t imagine
I also received handwritten letters
doing another one. But then
from kids. Some drew me pictures,
readers changed my mind. I received
like vegetables growing or flowers
emails from people from around
in a rainbow of colors. They told
the world telling me how much they
me which book they liked best or
loved the books.
what they loved about nature or
about their favorite food or animal.
I cherish these letters. Twelve-year-
old Lydia from Maine wrote, “Since I
was younger, I dreamed of becoming
a marine biologist. I think growing
up on the coast influenced this. I
love your books and I would really
enjoy one called Ocean Anatomy. I
was wondering if you ever decided
to make another book if you would
consider the topic.”
I thought of my memories of my
childhood beach. I thought about
the first time I went snorkeling and
never heard of — nudibranch, giant
saw brightly colored fish. I also
spider crabs, leafy sea dragons. And
thought about climate change and
spent nights worrying what what
how it was affecting our beautiful
would happen to our beautiful oceans
oceans and the images I saw of
as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
starving polar bears. But most of
grows and turtles confuse plastic
all, I thought of Lydia becoming a
bags for jellyfish and eat them.
marine biologist, and all the children who had written to me, and I decided
I hope this book opens your eyes to
to do another book.
all the incredible sea life we don’t
even realize is there. I hope this book So here I am.
reminds you how much we need to
conserve all these fascinating plants I enlisted the help of the wonderful
and creatures. I hope more children
John Niekrasz who worked with me
are inspired to get involved and
on Nature Anatomy to collaborate
learn how to protect and save our
with me again. He has done extensive
research on all the plants and animals in the ocean and on the shores. We
tried to include as much as we could.
Along the way, I learned about so
many jaw-dropping animals I had
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|Epub||December 26, 2020|