How to Measure the Ocean

How to Measure the Ocean

How to Measure the Ocean










How to Measure the Ocean

Inda Ahmad Zahri

A & U Children’s, 2024

32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99


Take a young child to the beach for the first time and they are likely to be overwhelmed by the size of the ocean in front of them.  And it wouldn’t be unusual to have them ask, “How big is the ocean?”

And that’s the case for the children in this story as they try to use the traditional tools of string, scales and a bucket to find its size, weight and volume because those are the sorts of dimensions they are familiar with investigating.  But in this eye-catching book with its colourful illustrations, the reader is introduced to a range of other ways to measure from the simple counting of the oceans of the world (including the half-oceans, almost-oceans, once-oceans and oceans-in-between)  to measuring its depth to how it changes with time, temperature, terrain, the pull of the moon, the path of the wind…

But the purpose of the book isn’t just to collate a set of facts and figures about the ocean – as the author explains in a note at the back, it’s also about learning about solving other problems, looking for a formula or set of rules that can be used over and over, and learning to swap the word “ocean” for other things , even intangibles like emotions, creativity, courage, friendship…

Although it is recommended for the 4-8 years age group, it really has potential to be used with many age groups, depending on the focus. It could be used to encourage students to pose their own questions about the ocean and search for formulae or methods that might explain the answer; the maths curriculum to  have them examine something like the tidal charts and work out how they are worked out;  or it could be used in the mindfulness program because, if the ocean is vast, boundless, infinite, what else might be? 

Definitely one for the NCACL Picture Books for Older Readers database.

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