Explore the Wild Coast with Sam and Crystal

Explore the Wild Coast with Sam and Crystal

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A beautifully illustrated story that teaches children about marine biology and the coastal environment of BC and the Pacific Northwest.

Join eleven-year-old Crystal and her seven-year-old brother, Sam, as they travel by seine boat along the rugged Pacific coastline to visit their aunt Kate, a marine biologist, and uncle Charlie, a retired fisherman, at their home in a sheltered inlet called Eagle Cove. As Aunt Kate takes the children for walks along the beach and teaches them about marine life, tidal zones, and habitats, they meet a dazzling range of sea creatures and learn the importance of observing, respecting, and preserving nature. Colourful, engaging, and educational, Explore the Wild Coast with Sam and Crystal is both a delightful story and an indispensable learning tool for children ages eight to eleven.

About the Author(s)

Gloria Snively is a professor emeritus of science, environmental, and marine education in the Faculty of Education, University of Victoria, and a former classroom teacher of primary and junior secondary grades. She is a founding member of the Northwest Association of Marine Educators and the author of the classic bestselling field guide Exploring the Seashore in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon, now in its eleventh printing. Her passions include curriculum development; First Nations education; giving natural history workshops to teachers, park interpreters, and community groups; and exploring the stunning seashores of the west coast. She lives in Sooke, BC.

Karen Gillmore has been an artist since she could hold crayons. In addition to being a children’s book illustrator, she also draws and writes comics and illustrates graphic novels. She lives in Victoria, BC. 

"A wonderful story that is enjoyable for children (and even adults) of all ages." —Andy Lamb, marine naturalist
"Gloria Snively has taken her classic field guide Exploring the Seashore and transformed it into a children’s adventure narrative that leaves no shoreline stone unturned." —Briony Penn, author, The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian McTaggart Cowan
"As the tide rolls in and out daily in our territory, we are reminded of the abundance of food in our Kwakwaka’wakw oceans, our lands, and our air. As the children in Explore the Wild Coast with Sam and Crystal receive teachings from Ada, they become connected to the spirits within our environment and our ocean. A bond is developed that will provide a foundation of understanding and the need to protect and champion our environment. Sam and Crystal’s journey with Aunt Kate will become a foundation for their future passions and work. Gilakas’la to Dr. Gloria Snively for bringing our young people on a journey of understanding and connection through her story." —Nella Nelson, Coordinator of Aboriginal Nations Education, School District #61, Victoria, BC
"These beautifully illustrated books tell the fictional tale of Sam and Crystal visiting their Aunt Kate and Uncle Charlie on the West Coast. The books are full of factual information about the flora, fauna, history and traditions of the Canadian Pacific coastline." —Resource Links
"The quality and quantity of detail about the marine ecosystems attest to the author’s scholarly expertise. She offers thorough accounts of the most interesting aspects of the lives of each animal and plant Sam and Crystal find. For instance, readers may have some knowledge of why and how the Hermit Crab borrows an empty shell as it outgrows the current one, but they are less likely to know about the battles that take place if two crabs have designs on the same shell. Readers may be familiar with the variety of shapes and colors of shells but are perhaps unaware of how the Wrinkled Whelks drill into mussel shells to feed, and how the mussel egg cases open and close to protect the young ones. These moments of drama are precisely recounted in lively style and give an extra layer of excitement to these books. Along with the more common seashore creatures, like crabs, mussels, sea stars, and gulls, more unusual ones are examined: the Rock Louse, periwinkles, sea anemones, and sea slugs. A list of the organisms arranged in taxonomic categories is found on the last page of each volume. —Gillian Richardson, Canadian Materials