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The Great Barrier Reef by Helen Scales and Lisk Feng

Title: The Great Barrier Reef

Author: Helen Scales and Lisk Feng

Genre: Non-Fiction

Publisher: Walker Books/Flying Eye Books

Published: 2nd June 2021

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 88

Price: $34.99

Synopsis: Nearly 400,000 square kilometres of dazzling colour, intricate ecosystems and unique creatures large and small: The Great Barrier Reef is one of the great natural wonders of our world.

Vibrant, dynamic illustrations illuminate this enchanting place, its animal inhabitants, and the peoples who have embraced it as a centrepiece of their cultures. Learn all about how the reef came to be, its place in the world, and perhaps most importantly, what we can all do to help ensure that the Great Barrier Reef will be around for countless future generations to discover!

  • Visually impactful, its illustrations bring to life the natural brilliance of this unique ecosystem.
  • Written by a well-known expert in marine biology and ocean ecosystems.
  • A beautiful book with a strong message of conservation.


The Queensland coast boasts 400, 000 square kilometres of colourful fish and coral beneath the waves, and ecosystems that give life to so many fabulous creatures. Classed as one of the great natural wonders of the world by UNESCO, it is one of the areas that should be widely protected, and efforts made to stop it dying off.

This vibrant book is written by oceanographer Helen Scales, and teaches readers all about the Great Barrier Reef, from its formation in prehistory, and how the coral evolved in warmer water, to the many different kinds of sea life that the reef supports, to the ways humans have interacted with it, from Indigenous people to Captain Cook and subsequent groups who have come to live in Australia over the past couple of centuries, and finally, delving into the devastation of the reef through climate change, global warming, over fishing and other issues that have affected the survival and ongoing life of the reef. Helen takes the science, geography and history, and distils it into something that younger audiences aged seven and over can understand and take on board the knowledge across all these topics to understand the consequences of climate change using a real-world example that everyone knows and wants to protect.

This beautiful book is exquisitely illustrated by Lisk Feng, bringing the world of the Great Barrier Reef to life across all its entities and everything we know and don’t know about it, expanding upon our current knowledge and filling in the gaps, and of course, being able to wow people at trivia nights or in class where the Great Barrier Reef might be discussed, so this is also a wonderful book for older readers, and when it comes to research projects or other educational uses, can be a wonderful starting point  to lead to other sources and discoveries to utilise.

This book is fun and educational, and would be a wonderful classroom resource for science, geography, history and biology, as well as specific studies based around oceans and nature. It is fabulous in its execution, and equal parts grounding and inspiring for readers, showing them what they can do to make small changes for the better – and to hopefully preserve the Great Barrier Reef for generations to come.

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