Review of The Forest in the Sea, by Anita Sanchez

The Forest in the Sea

Seaweed Solutions to Planetary Problems

by Anita Sanchez

Holiday House, 2023. 92 pages.
Review written April 11, 2023, from a library book.

This is another example of a children’s book that taught me all kinds of science I didn’t know. In this case, it’s the science of seaweed.

The book begins with a story of cows on Prince Edward Island whose lives – and milk – got better when they had seaweed added to their food. In a later chapter, I learned that adding certain kinds of seaweed to cattle feed can keep them from producing methane — and methane from cows is a major force behind climate change.

I learned that there are many different kinds of seaweed, and that they aren’t actually part of the plant or animal kingdoms, but a type of algae. They are fundamental to oceanic ecosystems, and I learned about the Sargasso Sea, which is all about dense mats of floating seaweed called sargassum, sort of a golden floating inverted rain forest, full of a rich variety of marine life.

But this book especially focused on many areas of research using seaweed to solve human problems. This paragraph from the back of the book sums many of them up:

Imagine what the future might hold. Biodegradable plastic made from seaweed. Cars fueled with seaweed. You might drink clean, safe water filtered by seaweed. Maybe you’ll live in a house roofed with insulation of compressed seaweed, or wear clothing made of seaweed fabric. Someday this book might be printed on paper made from seaweed. There’s no end to the possibilities.

It all adds up to a book packed with interesting facts and generously illustrated with photographs.

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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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