Thursday, May 5, 2022

DIVING DEEP: Using Machines to Explore the Ocean: A NonFiction Picture Book Review and Giveaway

The title of this picture book says it all. The text by Michelle Cusolito and the magnificent illustrations by Nicole Wong provide readers of all ages with an intimate glimpse of ocean. Diving Deep is to be released in June, 2022 from Charlesbridge, but go ahead and pre-order it now!



This book will make you and your child or students say "WOW!"

Far away from shore, 

past beaches and coral reefs,

the ocean's surface conceals 

Earth's last unexplored wilderness.

What drives humans to dive into the sea

and sink deeper than the last inkling of light?


All illustrations copyright 
© 2022 by Nicole Wong. Used with permission.

The book begins with the simplest (and most shallow) way to explore the ocean (snorkeling) and ends with the most complicated and deepest (tucked inside a thick metal sphere inside a submersible). Each of the nine ways to explore the ocean are first illustrated with text that is accessible to kindergarten through second graders. Additional text on the accompanying page is aimed at third to fourth grade readers. These pages include details such as how deep the people or machine can go, how long they stay under water, how many people are involved, and also includes potential dangers.

This illustration of an underwater lab captivated me. Don't you love the grouper outside the window?

Here is the text explaining Aquarius Reef Base which is located off the coast of Florida:

It is slightly bigger than a city bus. Scientists who live and work in Aquarius dive to the lab using scuba gear. They live at two and a half times the pressure at sea level. Observers at the surface monitor the habitat through live video and audio feeds. By living at depth, scientists can dive for many more hours than from a boat on the surface, and they can complete research projects in less time. Before returning to the surface, they go through seventeen hours of decompression inside Aquarius. Then they swim to the surface using a small tank of air. Dangers include Aquarius system failure and DCS during quick emergency returns to the surface. 

How about a submersible? Notice the verb use of he word "pretzel."

Typical depth: up to 1,000 meters (3,300 feet)
Time: 6 to 12 hours. Number of people: 1 to 3. 
A DeepWorker submersible is like a chair with a submarine wrapped around it. As with other submersibles, the pressure inside is the same as at sea level. A clear, domed top provides a wide view, and dives last about six hours. The pilot drives with their feet, leaving their hands free to take notes or photographs. A headset allows communication with the surface. Triton 3300 submersibles carry one to three people and can dive for eight to ten hours.

The book returns full circle to the young girl and her adult companion snorkeling in a coral reef.

Tomorrow we may 

unlock more secrets of life on Earth.

The last two pages show images of individuals and machines in various water depths.


An extensive Author's Note includes Cusolito's previous work, Flying Deepsome information on her research process, and a brief history of underwater exploration. There are also notes about measurement, an extensive glossary, and a bibliography.


Michelle told me that she and Nicole have a special pre-order campaign going with Eight Cousins Books. Anyone who preorders from them will receive an adorable, frameable 4x6 print of the strawberry squid from the back matter. All preorders from Eight Cousins will also be signed by me AND Nicole Wong, the illustrator. 


Interested in adding this book to your home or school library? Please leave me a comment by May 9 (along with your name and email address if you are new to my blog) to enter the giveaway. Sign up to follow my blog or share this on social media (make sure you tell me what you do!) and I'll enter your name twice. Continental U.S. addresses only.

Congratulations to Natalie Aguirre who won The Captain's' Daughters. 


Danielle H. said...

Carol, it works now! I will enjoy this book.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, I know you will!

Nora said...

I work on ocean conservation and I'm so excited about this book! Would love a chance to win a copy. noraferm (at)

Natasha said...

I can't wait to read this book! It looks wonderful.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Nora and Natasha. Natasha--I need your email address to enter you in the giveaway!

Lois said...

What an exciting read, especially for my ocean-loving grandchildren.

Thanks, Carol.

Carol Baldwin said...

Sounds like a book you need on your shelves, Lois, for when they come to visit!

Mona Voelkel said...

I am looking forward to reading this book!! Love your review!!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Mona. I need your email address to enter your name!

Danielle H. said...

I just shared your post to tumblr:

Carol Baldwin said...

thanks, Danielle!

Melissa Henderson said...

This book looks amazing!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks for your comment, Melissa. I need your email address to enter you in the giveaway.

Rosi said...

This looks like a terrific book. Youngsters will, no doubt, be fascinated. Thanks for telling me about it. I'll check it out. I will pass on the giveaway.

Marci said...

This book looks phenomenal!! I can’t wait to read the whole story. Thanks for sharing!! Great work, Michelle & Nicole!! Thanks, Carol!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Marci!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Rosi. I hope you get a chance to read the book.

Emily Weitz said...

These pictures look phenomenal and I would love a copy of the book for my students at my library!


Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Emily. I'm about to pick a winner later today--glad you left a comment here too!

Unknown said...

Kathy the picture lady says this sounds like a fascinating book!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Kathy!

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