June 8th is World Ocean Day…a day to celebrate perhaps my favourite ecosystem on the planet! Those who know me know that my heart is most at home when I am by, in, or on the ocean!! There’s nothing I love more than my toes in the water, scanning the horizon for anything that might be out there…or snorkeling coral reefs….or splashing in the surf…or searching for dolphins…or collecting rocks on the shore…or listening to whale calls to lull myself to sleep at night…or discovering a myriad of new ocean species…or just sitting on the shore listening to everything that surrounds me…or…or…OR! Well, you get the idea!! The ocean has always held a special place in my heart, which is why I was so excited to write The Global Ocean (Kids Can Press, 2022) – I got to spend months (years?) in the ocean, even if I couldn’t physically be there.

This year’s theme is One Ocean, One Climate, One Future – Together. And that statement couldn’t be any truer. There is just one Global Ocean, and it is perhaps the most important feature on Earth. It shapes Earth’s climate, provides oxygen, and stores carbon dioxide. Its currents move heat and nutrients around the planet. It provides food for both marine and land animals. And it is home to both an incredible diversity of species, as well as to more species than any other habitat on Earth.

And so, in honour of World Ocean Day…and with permission from Kids Can Press…I have a very special, top secret, incredibly sneaky, little peek at the artwork from The Global Ocean to share with you. This is the very first public look at the incredible illustrations currently being created by Natasha Donovan. And I must confess – having seen first her roughs, and now some of the final art, she keeps taking my breath away…and my excitement is building.

As an author, and very much a NOT a visual artist, I am always mesmerized by the artistic process. It never ceases to amaze me how artists create glorious illustrations out of mere words. And Natasha’s work isn’t just spectacular but clearly shows her interest and investment in the content too. Her attention to detail and her diverse representation are more than I ever could have hoped for. One day I will tell you all about the story of discovering a ribbon seal in one of her illustrations – but that’s a story for another blog… So, without further ado…here is just a small snippet of some final art from The Global Ocean….illustrated so wonderfully by the very talented Natasha Donovan!

I hope you are as excited by these illustrations as I am!!

Rochelle

PS #1: Click here to learn more about World Ocean Day and consider supporting #30×30, a global movement to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030. #WorldOceanDay #Protect30x30 #OceanClimateAction

PS #2: If you too want to be lulled to sleep at night by the sounds of whales, check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. They have a hydrophone in Monterey Bay capturing the sounds of humpbacks and other whales. It is incredible to listen to them!! @MBARI_News