Catastrophe by the Sea
illustrated by Ed Young
From revered nature writer Brenda Peterson and told through striking and vibrant mixed-media collages by Caldecott Medalist Ed Young, Catastrophe by the Sea is a poignant story of redemption through empathy and compassion found in the most surprising places, and also provides a rich understanding of small creatures that live in a dangerous tidal zone.
A lost cat roams the tide pools, pawing relentlessly at the small creatures that live there. One day an anemone confronts him and asks why he is alone and befriends him. In partnership with the Seattle Aquarium, Catastrophe by the Sea delivers a powerful message of finding understanding and friendship, and at the same time educates on the varied wildlife brimming in tide pools.
“For several years, the Seattle Aquarium has studied the role of empathy in promoting conservation. Empathy is the ability to perceive, understand and care about the experiences or perspectives of another person or animal. We most often feel empathy for other people, but we can also feel empathy for animals. This led us to the idea of a children’s book. Animals are regular protagonists in children’s books, but these characters are primarily vertebrates and often charismatic mammals. Could we create a book that would allow kids and their caregivers to empathize with strange and exotic marine animals, like sea anemones or barnacles? We hope this book strikes a chord with audiences and fosters empathy for animals less like us.” -Jim Wharton, director of conservation engagement and learning at the Seattle Aquarium