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Review of The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs: The Story of Ken Nedimyer and the Coral Restoration Foundation

The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs: The Story of Ken Nedimyer and the Coral Restoration Foundation
by Kate Messner; illus. by Matthew Forsythe
Primary    Chronicle    48 pp.
5/18    978-1-4521-3350-8    $17.99

The same sentence — “It starts with one” — opens and closes this account of the threatened Florida Keys coral reefs and one man’s efforts to restore them to heath and vigor. Ken Nedimyer, founder of the Coral Restoration Foundation, is a Florida native and longtime marine-life enthusiast. As a boy, his love of all things aquatic was fueled by watching Jacques Cousteau TV shows, snorkeling in the Florida Keys, and raising fish in tanks in his home. As an adult, he noticed the decline in coral reef health as species started to die out. Messner walks readers through Nedimyer’s innovation: growing staghorn corals in “live rock” farms and transplanting them to dying natural reefs. Forsythe’s illustrations are a unique take on tropical waterscapes, juxtaposing kaleidoscopic color washes with dark and light foundational structures to capture details of the corals and their protectors. The message of positive advocacy for the environment will inspire young naturalists who are also eager to translate their love of nature into action. Appended with two pages of back matter, including a brief bibliography, a glossary of “coral reef vocabulary,” and some answers to “How Can Kids Help?”

From the July/August 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: ALA Awards.

Danielle J. Ford About Danielle J. Ford

Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.

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