The Definitive Guide to

The Sea Knows

Written by Alan B. Havis and Alice B. McGinty & illustrated by Stephanie Laberis
Published by Simon & Schuster
5.81 / 7.0
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 4.3 / 5.0
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Prices as of Apr 14
Retail Price
used $7.75
May 5, 2020
Publication Date
Target Age

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's The Sea Knows About

Publisher Summary

Dive in and explore the wonders of the ocean and its inhabitants in this lyrical, fact-filled ode to the sea! This beautifully illustrated picture book features extensive nonfiction backmatter for further exploration.

We are young. The sea is old. The sea has secrets to unfold. The sea knows.

In this playful, rhyming celebration of the marine world, readers can explore all of the wondrous things the sea knows. It knows huge whales and small krill; it knows short crabs and tall giant kelp; it knows brightly colored starfish in shallow pools; and in the inky depths it knows the alluring jewel of an anglerfish’s glowing lure.

Discover all of the strange and magnificent underwater creatures in this accessible tribute to the power and mystery of the ocean.

What Kind of Book is The Sea Knows

Video Gallery

Quotes from The Sea Knows

  • “The sea knows wind, and waves that tower. The sea knows storm. The sea knows power.”
    “The sea knows when the storms should cease. The sea knows calm. The sea knows peace.”

Where Does The Sea Knows Stand Out

Rhyme Time

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


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.

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

B is for Bookworm
Book-loving mama who believes you're never too old for magical stories of talking animals and imaginary worlds.
5.5 / 7.0
The Goodfather
Favorite pastime? Reading with my kids. Just finished Nana Cracks the Case!
6.0 / 7.0
English Degree, Former SAHM, Grammy Extraordinare
6.25 / 7.0
The Book Snob Mom
Mom of boys. Lover of Harry Potter, Jane Austen and believes one can never own too many children's books!
5.5 / 7.0

A celebration of the sea, across many of its aspects, depths and inhabitants in poetic verse. There is also an opportunity to dive deeper on each aspect mentioned at the back of the book for curious readers!

Book Lists That Include The Sea Knows

Book Topics › seas
Children's Books About Seas
Book Topics › ecology
Children's Books About Ecology
Book Topics › water
Children's Books About Water
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Who Wrote The Sea Knows

Alice B. McGinty

Alice B. McGinty is the award-winning author of over 40 fiction and nonfiction books for children. She considers herself to be a story detective, and loves finding stories, whether they be true biographical stories or ones that she makes up herself, based on the seeds she finds in her life experiences. Nothing is more fun than finding a good story and making it come to life!

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Who Illustrated The Sea Knows

Stephanie Laberis

Stephanie Laberis is an illustrator and character designer who specializes in creating art for animation, children’s publications, and toys. She is the illustrator of Prudence the Part-Time Cow by Jody Jensen Shaffer. She lives in San Francisco.

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What Has Alan B. Havis Said About The Sea Knows

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Alan know that you want more details about The Sea Knows!

What Has Alice B. McGinty Said About The Sea Knows

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Alice know that you want more details about The Sea Knows! Try tweeting Alice on twitter (@alicebmcginty) or messaging Alice on instagram (@mcgintyalice).

What Has Stephanie Laberis Said About The Sea Knows

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Stephanie know that you want more details about The Sea Knows!

Alan B. Havis's Book Dedication

For Alice, who has opened my eyes in so many ways

Alice B. McGinty's Book Dedication

For Alan, who knows where to find the magic

Stephanie Laberis's Book Dedication

For F. B. & S. D. A., kindling my fascination with our beautiful, mysterious oceans

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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.

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Core Score - 55%
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Depth Score - 43%
Just the barebones.
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