This kaleidoscopic wonder shows us how we can help our beautiful planet stay that way.

Title: The Brilliant Deep
Author: Kate Messner
Illustrator: Matthew Forsythe
Rating: 10
Source: Raincoast Books for review

Description from Chronicle Books:

All it takes is one: one coral gamete to start a colony, one person to make a difference, one idea to change the world. The ongoing efforts to save and rebuild the world’s coral reefs—with hammer and glue, and grafts of newly grown coral—are the living legacy of Ken Nedimyer, founder of the Coral Restoration Foundation. Kate Messner and Matthew Forsythe tell the true story of the coral restoration pioneer in this brilliant tribute to the wonders of nature and the power of human hope.

What I Thought:

A “brilliant” book in every sense of the word!

In a way that children can understand, Messner tells us all about Ken Nedimyer and his quest to save the coral reefs. It began when he was a child living in Florida (his Dad worked at NASA!) where he fell in love with the ocean. He started exploring the reefs and collecting fish and bringing them home (at one point he had 30 aquariums in his room! His poor parents, haha.) When he noticed his beloved reefs were starting to die, he knew he had to do something. And so he and his daughter had the idea that they should try and transplant healthy corals onto the dying reefs. And it worked!

With pictures everyone can appreciate, Forsythe beautifully illustrates the fish, coral, and oceans we have been hurting. The sketchy pictures almost look like we’re being shown everything through the water. The bold colours and the blurred edges combine to make a magical view. Also the shimmery cover is AMAZING. I’m in love. You will be too. Trust me.

“It starts with one” is used as both the opening and closing lines of the book, and this theme is used throughout the book to show that all we need is one person, one idea, one coral, to start something amazing. We loved this book! I highly recommend it.

The Brilliant Deep would be perfect for an ocean unit or even a discussion on being a global citizen.

The end of the book even has ways for kids to get involved! Check out for more information.