top of page

Meet the Oceans Review and Author Guest Feature

By Caryl Hart

Illustrated by Bethan Woollvin

From the chilly Arctic Ocean to the topical Caribbean Sea, the coloured coral shores to the deepest, darkest depths, dive into an underwater wonderland and meet the world's oceans and seas in this show-stopping, eye-popping blue planet adventure!

Written in a bubbly, irresistible rhyme, Caryl Hart has expertly packed an ocean worth of fun and information into friendly, accessible bite-sized story chunks that will delight little readers. But this lively, deep sea story isn't without a nod to the climate crisis as Hart shines a sobering yet soft light on the vulnerability of our oceans and the damaging impact human interactions (plastic waste, pollution and shipping) is causing to our marine ecosystems.

Swimming in florescent pops of colour and all manners of scaly, slippery, shimmery sea creatures, Bethan Woollvin has once again proved herself as an artist extraordinaire. With a shift of an eye and flick of a smile, Woollvin's distinctive visual style has masterfully brought each watery world and its magnificent animal arks to life for little readers to befriend and connect with.

Meet the Oceans is a treasure trove of discovery and delight. It's a love song to our oceans and the ideal introduction to the importance of caring for them.

Buy Meet the Oceans:


Research and Wild Facts by Caryl Hart

Find out how author Caryl Hart researched this stunning picture book and discover ten wild facts about our world’s oceans and seas!


Have you ever been down to the seaside

Where the waves splash and crash to and fro?

Or peeped over the edge of a jetty

At the sea life that wriggles bellow?

Well, you might be surprised to discover

That so much of our planet is sea

And within it live millions of creatures

That are beautiful, strange, wild and free!


Meet the Oceans is a fully illustrated picture book that introduces young children to some of the world’s oceans and seas. Each salty body of water has its own personality and speaks out to readers in rhyming verse. Every spread is lavishly illustrated in bright colours that really pop out of the page, helping to draw young readers in and keep their attention throughout.

The book takes young explorers on a submarine journey around the world, from the chilly Arctic, to the breezy Atlantic, through the topical Caribbean and the busy South China Sea. Each sea or ocean introduces themselves in rhyming verse and tells young readers about some of the wildlife features and human interactions that make them so special.


Meet the Oceans is full of FUN, and is also crammed with INFORMATION, delivered in friendly, bite-sized chunks, just the right size for young readers to take in and remember without feeling overwhelmed.

But how did I decide what to include and what to leave out?! There are so many interesting facts about the oceans of our world. How on earth do you decide which ones to highlight and which to ignore?

Well, it was a very tricky job and I didn’t do it all on my own! I worked closely with editors, designers and Bethan Woollvin, the book’s illustrator, to give each ocean or sea its own personality. I tried to pick out different details to show how each ocean or sea is unique and special. So, for example, while dolphins and whales are present in many of our seas, we only mentioned them in on the pages for the Arctic (Beluga Whales and Narwhals) and the Indian Ocean (Blue whales).

We learn about the diamonds hidden on the Atlantic sea bed, about the Coral Sea’s glittering Great Barrier Reef and the Pacific’s rubbish problem. We hear about the research stations on the ice in the Southern Ocean and the Aye-Ayes that live on the shores of the Indian Ocean. Each ocean illustration has a different colour palette, further emphasising each marine ecosystem’s special qualities.

I also tried to highlight the most interesting geological features (coral reefs, underwater mountains and sea caves) and human interactions (shipping and pollution) that characterise each marine environment.


Together, I hope our choices create a magical submarine journey where children can explore and make friends with some of the most amazing environments on our planet.

We believe that love comes first, and we hope that our book will help our children love the beautiful, fragile, amazing marine ecosystems they discover. Because it is through love that the adults of the future will work to keep these incredible natural places safe from harm.


As well as being full of personality and fun, Meet the Oceans is full of facts! So I’ve picked out ten wild facts about some of the world’s oceans for you:

1. The world’s DEEPEST ocean is the Pacific – the deepest part is called the Challenger Deep and is around 11km deep!

2. The world’s SMALLEST ocean is the Arctic Ocean at around 14 million square km

3. The world’s WARMEST ocean is the Indian Ocean which ranges from 19-36 degrees Celsius

4. The Coral triangle, which is found in South East Asia, is the most BIODIVERSE marine area in the word, supporting more than 600 species of coral, 3000 species of fish, six out of the world’s seven kinds of marine turtle and more species of sea grass and mangroves than anywhere else in the planet.

5. The most POLLUTED ocean is the Pacific, with an estimated two TRILLION pieces of plastic (2,000,000,000,000).

6. The CLEANEST ocean is the Antarctic or Southern Ocean. How long can we keep it that way??

7. In my research, the most interesting NAMES for FISH come from the Caribbean Ocean. Here are some of my favourites: Stoplight Parrotfish, Smooth Trunkfish, Four Eye Butterflyfish, Blue Striped Grunt, Squirrel Fish, and Porkfish!

8. The RAREST sea mammal is the Vaquita, a kind of porpoise that has only ever been found in the Gulf of California. According to the World Wildlife Fund there are only TEN individuals left in the world.

9. The most common marine animals are krill, small shrimp-like creatures that form the diet of many species of fish and mammals.

10. But the BEST ocean in the world is… well, you’ll have to decide that for yourself!!

Buy Meet the Oceans:

Meet the creators:

Caryl Hart writes picture books and young fiction and runs creative literacy workshops for schools and libraries. She has written Whiffy Wilson, How to Catch a Dragon, Welcome to Alien School, How to Grow a Dinosaur, Supermarket Zoo, The Princess and the Peas, The Princess and the Presents, Catch That Rat, Big Box Little Box and Meet the Planets. She lives in Sheffield with her husband and two daughters.

Twitter @carylhart1

Bethan Woollvin graduated from Anglia Ruskin University with a First Class Degree in Illustration. In 2014, she won the Macmillan Prize for Illustration for her debut picture book, Little Red Riding Hood. The success of her first book was replicated in her follow-up titles, Rapunzel and Hansel and Gretel, and in her first collaboration with Caryl Hart, Meet the Planets. Bethan lives in Sheffield.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page