The Sea Knows
The Sea Knows
Bookroo5.8 / 7Goodreads4.3 / 5

The Sea Knows

Written by Alan B. Havis and Alice B. McGinty & illustrated by Stephanie Laberis
Published by Simon & Schuster
Prices as of Jan 19

What Does Bookroo Think of The Sea Knows

Poetic text and gorgeous illustrations detail the vastness of the ocean’s ‘knowledge.’

This beautifully illustrated poem from co-authors McGinty and Havis (his debut book) uses opposites to explore the vibrant diversity of the ocean. “The sea knows spots, / The sea knows shiny. / The sea knows smooth, / The sea knows spiny.” Huge blue whales swim through swarms of tiny krill. An arctic fishing boat floats on the frigid surface while its anchor sinks lower than the hidden icebergs below. Waves build to enormous heights and lightning flashes over turbulent water as the crests “tower” and the sea experiences stormy “power.” In a moment of particular intertwining of poetic text with Laberis’s dynamic digital illustration, “The sea knows silver, and green, and blue and blue and blue” as the illustrations depict an aerial view of the ocean that zooms out further and further, at each level displaying more of the ocean’s shades of blue. At the end of the book, six and a half pages of material repeat each line of the poem and elaborate on the line with additional facts, ranging from observations about the size of whales to the number of artifacts lost at sea to harnessing electricity from the sea. While insightful and even fascinating, these are text dense and require flipping back and forth to the relevant page of the poem to fully appreciate—acknowledging the concern that the additional text could have detracted from the illustrations or interrupted the poem, this information might be enjoyed more by readers as smaller snippets available on each relevant page.

What Kind of Book is The Sea Knows


Writing Styles


Where Does The Sea Knows Stand Out

  • Rhyme Time

    The “Rhyme Time” badge is awarded to books with exceptional poetry.

  • Illustration

    The “Illustration” badge is awarded to books with exceptional illustrations.

What Questions Should I Ask My Child

  • This story highlights the diversity of the creatures that live under the sea. Which are some of your favorites, and why?
  • At the end of the book you'll find fascinating facts that elaborate on each line of the poem. To fully enjoy this book, take time to read the facts and flip back to the corresponding illustration.


Book Lists That Include The Sea Knows

The Creatives Behind the Book

What Has Alan B. Havis Said About This Book

Nothing yet! You should let Alan B. Havis know that you want to hear from them about their book.

What Has Alice B. McGinty Said About This Book

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What Has Stephanie Laberis Said About This Book

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Book Details

Publication Date
May 5, 2020
Text Details
The text for this book was set in Edlund.
Illustration Details
The illustrations for this book were digitally rendered.
Page Count
Reading Age
4 - 8 years

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Core Score - 51%

More than halfway there—keep going!

Depth Score - 43%

Just the barebones.

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