Thursday, June 25, 2020

Wide World of Water: Oceans by Precious McKenzie

Ninety-seven percent of Earth is covered by water.

Although humans are dry-land dwellers, given the surface of our planet, earth science should logically begin with ocean science.

And in Precious McKenzie's Oceans (Eye To Eye With Endangered Habitats) (Rourke Publishing/Brittanica), young students begin with that knowledge. The author also offers maps that show the placement of land masses in that watery world which historically were given the names of the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, Arctic, Indian, and the newer designation, the "Southern Ocean," once called the Antarctic.

In the second chapter, The Water We Share, the author points out that name designations are purely for "human convenience."
All bodies of water are connected, flowing from rainfall to rivulets to lakes and rivers, and to seas to oceans, with no boundaries, and in the following chapter, Always on the Move, McKenzie describes how all the oceans are also involved in the free-flowing water cycle--from ocean evaporation to clouds to rainfall and runoff, and back to its flow to the seas, and that cycle of moves in tides. McKenzie then follow with a section on Currents, local or global, as in the case of the Gulf Stream which flows like a river within the ocean from the Gulf of Mexico up the eastern coast of the North America and then veering eastward to warm and bring warmth and rainfall to the west coast of Europe, affecting the biology of plants, animals, and humans there.

In the chapter titled Under the Waters, the author describes the topography of the ocean floor--oceanic shallows, mountains, deeps, and trenches and the means used by ocean scientists to explore them, such as submersibles, sonar, and mapping technology.

The final chapter touches on the types of animal life--from fish to humans--which live in shallows, deeps, on coral reefs, and on the coasts, and the way humans use oceans as sources of minerals and for fun--swimming, surfing, sailing, snorkeling, skin diving, and recreational fishing--and food--commercial fishing and fish farming and plant cultivation. Filled with clear color photos, diagrams, and maps, and with short, snappy chapters, this non-fiction book is perfect as an introduction to ocean science in the middle elementary grades. A glossary, index, and a useful website are appended for young students. Others in this Eye-to-Eye with Endangered Habitats series include Glaciers (Eye To Eye With Endangered Habitats) Rainforests (Eye To Eye With Endangered Habitats), and Savannahs (Eye To Eye With Endangered Habitats).

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