Have you heard of the Great Southern Reef? It stretches from the north of New South Wales to Western Australia and is home to sea creatures and more than 400 different types of seaweed.
The Great Southern Reef is also a picture book showingcasing some of the plants and animals that live in the Reef.
It’s a story about Professor Seaweed and her two young friends, Frankie and Sam. They enjoy beach combing and the day after a storm they go on a walk to explore what has washed up on the beach.
On their walk, Frankie and Sam find some of the different animals and plants that make their home in the ocean.
Professor Seaweed tells the children about what they find, and explains the importance of their discoveries. Amongst the beachcombing treasures are cuttlefish and a turbo snail shell. In a rockpool there’s a sea anenome, and further along the beach is lots of sea lettuce, kelp, and a seaweed called Neptune’s Necklace.
The children also unfortunately find the beach strewn with rubbish. However they help clean it up, and in the process show their understanding of water pollution and the need to avoid it.
Professor Seaweed also tells Frankie and Sam about the Great Southern Reef and some of the interesting uses for seaweed.
Frankie, Sam and Professor Seaweed’s story is a great way to put the spotlight on a important part of our environment, and to make us aware of Australian marine life.
The Great Southern Reef is sure to inspire a beach combing walk, and encourage children to learn more about what they find next time they visit the beach.
Download Teachers’ Notes from the publisher’s website for curriculum linked information and activities.
Title: The Great Southern Reef
Author: Paul Venzo and Prue Francis
Illustrator: Cate James
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing, $24.99
Publication Date: May 2022
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture Book