cover image The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs

The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs

Kate Messner, illus. by Matthew Forsythe. Chronicle, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4521-3350-8

Messner draws a poetic analogy between people and corals in this story of Ken Nedimyer, founder of the Coral Restoration Foundation: “Some drift in the currents until they come to rest, not too deep, on the ocean floor. If one is lucky, it lands in a place where it can grow.” Messner describes Nedimyer’s upbringing in Florida, where he is entranced by the ocean—a passion that continues into his adulthood as he works to cultivate marine life on rocks for use in aquariums. This endeavor sparks an idea to plant healthy colonies in dying coral reefs. Readers are likely to be intrigued by the hands-on process of regrowing the reefs: “With a careful dab of epoxy—just the size of a Hershey’s Kiss—volunteers attach the coral colonies. Piece by piece, arm by arm. Hoping they will grow on their own.” Forsythe’s grainy scenes of Nedimyer diving are infused with a golden glow that emanates from the healthy coral colonies—a hint at the wonder that ocean life inspires in the subject. Messner delivers a quiet homage to Nedimyer and the power of innovation. Ages 5–8. [em](May) [/em]