Mathew Bate (text) and Liz Rowland (illustrator), With a Little Kelp from Our Friends: The secret life of seaweed, Thames & Hudson, January 2021, 64pp., RRP $29.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781760760946
This is the perfect book for any child doing a project on seaweed.
Mathew Bate details its history and evolution, describes the state of seaweed today and reveals how it is used in food, health, and medicine. Most of the headings are each covered in a double page spread. Topics covered include not only the previously mentioned but also global warming and the pollution puzzle. There is a strong environmental theme running throughout the text.
Careful design and colourful illustrations help the text which is loaded with information. Liz Rowland has added a note explaining she has used a combination of oil paints, oil pastels and relief printing for the illustrations as they are particularly well suited to re -creating the different textures of sea creatures and seaweed.
At the end there are suggested activities, a glossary and a note from the author suggesting ways in which the reader can help protect the environment.
This is a high-quality production which may inspire children to look at seaweed in a new light.
Reviewed by Mia Macrossan