THE OPEN OCEAN – by Francesco Pittau and Bernadette Gervais

Gorgeous pop-up book in XXL format

Today is a rainy cloudy day in Pedasi, a little beach town on Panama’s Pacific coast. So we got cozy on the sofa and grabbed [ again ] the book: THE OPEN OCEAN and started browsing. We have the German version “Rate, wer versteckt sich hier? Das grosse Buch der Meerestiere”. Its huge! Almost the size of Mila.

So, in THE OPEN OCEAN kids can discover more than 50 sea animals, from mammals, fish to mussels and mollusks. But it’s not your average picture book. Its illustrations are beautiful, engaging and impressive. From the outside you don’t see much more than 4 pages, but don’t be irritated by this. When you first open the book you will be “welcomed” by an over dimensional starfish. You can unfold its 2 pages - to the left and to the right. Now you have 4 pages filled with black and white silhouettes of all kinds of marine life – great for kids to guess the animals behind each flap. Flap the silhouettes up and you see the creatures in colors and how they look in real life, skillfully illustrated.

On other pages you can flap mussels and shells open and see how they look inside. Another double page is dedicated to the different skins and shells of sea animals by showing kids a close up of those. Once you flip up the flap the animal behind sits itself up. At the end of the book is a fish puzzle (almost like a real adventure playground), in which readers can pull up or down different tabs. By doing this they can create and put together different fantasy animals or the correct fish. There is even one big whale covering all 4 tabs.

Living in Panama – we actually have a lot of the featured animals in the 2 oceans here: Atlantic & Pacific around us, which makes this book even more interesting and real for Mila. She is a little on the young side to flip through it herself but mostly because if its (fun!) size and the little flip parts which can be a bit delicate for little rougher hands.

Available at your local bookstore or Amazon (US and Germany). The authors also have 2 similar books: BIRD OF A FEATHER and OUT OF SIGHT.