Planet Ocean

Why We All Need a Healthy Ocean

  • Interest Level: Grade 4 - Grade 8
  • Reading Level: Grade 4

“Books like this one help lead the way to a better climate future for all inhabitants of Mother Earth. We are all in this together!” — Jeff Bridges, Academy Award winner and environmentalist

A little more than 70 percent of Planet Earth is ocean. So wouldn’t a better name for our global home be Planet Ocean?

You may be surprised at just how closely YOU are connected to the ocean. Regardless of where you live, every breath you take and every drop of water you drink links you to the ocean. And because of this connection, the ocean’s health affects all of us.

Dive in with author Patricia Newman and photographer Annie Crawley—visit the Coral Triangle near Indonesia, the Salish Sea in the Pacific Northwest, and the Arctic Ocean at the top of the world. Find out about problems including climate change, ocean acidification, and plastic pollution, and meet inspiring local people who are leading the way to reverse the ways in which humans have harmed the ocean.

Planet Ocean shows us how to stop thinking of ourselves as existing separate from the ocean and how to start taking better care of this precious resource.

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Grade 4 - Grade 8
Reading Level Grade 4
Genre Nonfiction, Science
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Traditional Nonfiction
Copyright 2021
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Millbrook Press ™
Language English
Number of Pages 64
Publication Date 2021-03-02
Text Type Informational/Explanatory
BISACS JNF025040, JNF037020, JNF037070
Dewey 551.46
Dimensions 10.625 x 8.875
Lexile 1030
Guided Reading Level W
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Glossary, Index, Maps, Page Plus™, Primary source quotations/images, Reviewed, Teaching Guides, Websites, and eSource


  • Orbis Pictus Award Recommended Book, Commended, 2022
  • Green Earth Book Award, Short-listed, 2022
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2022
  • Skipping Stones Honor Award, Short-listed, 2022
  • Eureka! Children's Book Award Honoree, Winner, 2021


Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD)

“You are going to meet Annie Crawley, a real oceanographer, who is passionate about our earth. Because it is 70% water it should be called our ocean planet. “Every drop of water we drink starts with the ocean.” The QR codes make this book more like a documentary, diving deeper into the ocean. Watch the camouflage trick of the wobikong waiting to ambush their next meal. The polyps of the coral that open and close are beautiful. You will meet many other ocean protectors that Annie has taught. After reading this book you will want to protect your planet’s ocean. There are companies that wanted to mine areas that will destroy the ocean shores. A young woman mobilizes others to stop more damage in Indonesia. Carelessness and over consumption has caused pollution, ocean acidification, and climate change in every area of the world. A 30 day challenge is given. Can you live 30 days by refusing to use single use plastics? Annie swims in what looks like a waterfill dump instead of a landfill dump. Again, no ocean=no home planet. She documents a sea turtle with a fishing line coming out of its cloaca. She can cut it but not remove it. Phytoplankton are small organisms. 100 could fit inside the width of a human hair. Yet their photosynthetic process connects us to the air we breathe. If they are destroyed, so is the source of our oxygen. The connection of the salmon to the large food web is amazing but stressed. Ecosystems are real, we are connected to everything. Ocean acidification is clearly explained as well as the animals that are immediately affected by the carbonic acid that is made when carbon dioxide and water combine. Young people such as Kalil Alobaidi, Eben Haopson, and Annie’s Dive Team are making a difference. Many examples of people making a difference are given and a list of things that even if the reader is landlocked can do. If one is able to become a visual storyteller there are tips and an invitation to join Annie Crawley’s Dive Team. Open this book and go for a swim. This book should be in all school and public libraries. Reviewer Rating: 5" –Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD)

School Library Journal

“[A]ims to inspire readers to take their own small steps to save ‘planet ocean’ . . . Libraries looking for newer titles on climate change will want to consider this one.”—School Library Journal


“Presenting a good deal of information within a well-organized framework, the book conveys a strong sense of urgency to clean the global ocean and restore the ecosystems it supports.”—Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

“[A] clear narrative that combines science, images, and the voices of young divers and Indigenous peoples to get across their point. . . . Worth exploring in depth.”—Kirkus Reviews

Jeff Bridges

“Books like this one help lead the way to a better climate future for all inhabitants of mother earth. We are all in this together!” — Jeff Bridges, Academy Award winner and environmentalist

Author: Patricia Newman

Patricia Newman's books inspire young readers to seek connections to the real world. Her titles encourage readers to use their imaginations to solve real world problems and act on behalf of their communities. These books include Sibert Honor title Sea Otter Heroes: The Predators That Saved an Ecosystem; Orbis Pictus Recommended Book Planet Ocean: Why We All Need a Healthy Ocean; Bank Street College Best Book Zoo Scientists to the Rescue; Booklist Editor's Choice Ebola: Fears and Facts; and Green Earth Book Award winner Plastic, Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Patricia frequently speaks at schools and conferences to share how children of any age can affect change. Visit her at

Photographer: Annie Crawley

Annie Crawley, aka Ocean Annie, travels and works around the world. Trained as a photo and broadcast journalist, her work has been broadcast and published worldwide. From Indonesia to Galapagos, Belize to Papua New Guinea, India to Australia, Annie has explored and documented life on our planet. Based in Seattle, Annie works as a producer, writer, photographer, and motivational speaker. She founded Dive Into Your Imagination, a multimedia company producing books, enhanced eBooks, educator guides, films, motivational art, and more. Annie was the photographer and filmmaker aboard SEAPLEX sponsored by Project Kaisei and Samy's Camera. Annie specializes in the underwater realm and also works as a photo, video, and scuba diving instructor. She is a member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame and created a dive team for kids and teens. Visit her online at and

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!

Planet Ocean

“Books like this one help lead the way to a better climate future for all inhabitants of Mother Earth. We are all in this together!” — Jeff Bridges, Academy Award winner and environmentalist A little more than 70 percent of Planet Earth… View available downloads →

Visit Lerner at ALA Annual!

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