Books that invite you to dive into underwater worlds like to focus on the big picture. “Ocean Treasury” or “Ocean Worlds” were the names of popular volumes of this genre, which undertook extensive forays into marine fauna. Non-fiction book reviewer Eva Hepper observes that a new trend has recently emerged: individual animal species come to the fore and are portrayed as personalities. The series “Naturkunden” from the publishing house Matthes & Seitz Berlin combines zoological knowledge and cultural history. Whales have long been in the limelight for their intelligence and complex social behavior. Fascination with these powerful sea creatures is expressed in children’s books as well as non-fiction narrative books and beautiful picture books, Hepper says. Recently, however, animals such as octopuses and seahorses, sardines or eels have also entered the bestseller lists.
Concerns about climate change and species extinction have heightened public awareness of marine biology, Hepper says. For the decade 2021-2030, the United Nations has proclaimed a “Decade of the Oceans”. So many publishers have books about sea creatures on their schedule this spring.
New knowledge about octopuses, seahorses and jellyfish is promised, as is basic knowledge about the endangerment of the oceans. And there’s no shortage of old stars either, Hepper knows: A new version once again reports ‘I’m lucky to see whales’.