Coral Finder 2022 - BYO Guides

Coral Finder 2022 - BYO Guides

Keepers of the Reef

Coral reefs are the gardens of the sea, and fish are the gardeners. Join two kids and a sea turtle for a journey through a fragile, beautiful ecosystem.
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Keepers of the Reef - Written by Dr. Sharon Wismer and Illlustrated by Alice Wong

Sharon Wismer—reef ecologist and mom—is the best tour guide a kid could have for a visit to the underwater world of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Alice Wong’s richly detailed, accurate watercolors take a boy and girl snorkeling to see the fishes that maintain the ecological balance between the corals and their main competitor, algae. Without the fish species that brush, crop, scrape, excavate, and browse the algae, coral reefs would die. A coral reef is a brilliant and colorful example of how a complex ecosystem functions and why its keystone species are critical to its health.

The Great Barrier Reef is one of Earth’s most celebrated natural treasures. Here children discover why the reef is threatened and what we can all do to help protect it. Keepers of Reef is the rare children’s book combining cutting-edge science with narrative and pictorial magic. Thorough backmatter sources and resources are included.

Hardback: 40 pages
Publisher: Tilbury HousePublishers
Language: English
ISBN 978-0-88448-904-7
Product Dimensions: 9 x 11 inches
Shipping Weight: 500g

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About the Author

Dr. Sharon Wismer is a postdoctoral research fellow at James Cook University, Australia. Her research focuses on the behavioral ecology of reef fishes and the impacts of mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef. Sharon spent her early childhood in Durban, South Africa, where exploring tidal pools ignited her passion for marine life. She obtained her BSc in Marine Biology in 2007, followed by a MSc and PhD in 2011 and 2017, respectively. Thus far, her research has led to 18+ peer-reviewed scientific articles in international journals. Sharon is a passionate environmentalist with a firm goal to inspire the next generation to appreciate and protect the natural world. In her free time, she loves spending time outdoors with her husband and two children.

About the Illustrator

Alice Wong works in watercolor and pencil, and has illustrated three picture books and board books. The clients for her Beatrix Potter – style animal illustrations have included Harrods, Sainsburys, Paperchase, Hallmark, International Greetings, Hobby Lobby, Double Ink, and others. This is her first children’s non-fiction book.


“A delightful perspective of life in this beautiful yet fragile marine habitat.” - Dr. David Bellwood, Distinguished Professor of Marine Biology and reef fish expert


"Nurtures curiosity and helps the children of today become the stewards of tomorrow.” - Dr. Charlie Veron, global coral expert, conservationist, and the “Godfather of Coral”


“Stunning. Wong’s watercolor illustrations expertly present scientific diagrams while simultaneously lending a magical and whimsical backdrop to this important text. A perfect companion text to other habitat and ecosystem resources.” - Youth Services Book Review


“One of those rare children’s book that deftly combines cutting- edge science with narrative and pictorial magic. An ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library marine life picture book collections.” - Midwest Book Review


"When children discover the wonders of the natural world, they become fascinated and curious, and this often sparks a life-long appreciation for the environment. This book offers young readers a glimpse into the delicate balance between corals, algae, and the reef fishes that together make up these important ecosystems. A journey of discovery that will educate and inspire a connection with our oceans and the magic of coral reefs." - Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, and UN Messenger of Peace


"Keepers of the Reef invites kids to look beyond the pretty colors, revealing fascinating fish behaviors that are key to the survival of coral reefs. A delightful perspective on life in this beautiful yet fragile marine habitat." - Dr. David Bellwood, reef fish expert and Distinguished Professor of Marine Biology at James Cook University


"Coral reefs are places of wonder and excitement that stir kids’ imaginations and create curiosity that lasts a lifetime. Keepers of the Reef nurtures that curiosity. It will encourage the children of today to become the stewards of tomorrow." - Dr. Charlie Veron, global coral expert, conservationist, and the “Godfather of Coral”