Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 6 to 8
- Grade: 1 to 3
- Reading age: 6 to 8
When storms roar and orcas are on the prowl, it's the seal gardens of the Great Bear Sea that provide safety and shelter to sea lions, otters, a variety of seals and other sea mammals. Ian McAllister's glorious photographs reveal the beauty and mystery of this rarely seen place of refuge. This is the third title in the My Great Bear Rainforest series, following Wolf Island and A Bear's Life.
About the authors
Ian McAllister is a co-founder of the wildlife conservation organization Pacific Wild. He is an award-winning photographer and author of The Great Bear Rainforest, and his images have appeared in publications around the world. He has been honoured by the Globe & Mail as one of 133 highly accomplished Canadians, and he and his wife, Karen McAllister, were named by Time magazine one of the ""Leaders of the 21st Century"" for their efforts to protect British Columbia's endangered rainforest. He is a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers and has won the North America Nature Photography Association's Vision Award and the Rainforest Action Network's Rainforest Hero award. He lives with his family on an island in the heart of The Great Bear Rainforest.
Nicholas Read is a journalism instructor at Langara College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He collaborated with Ian McAllister on several books, including Wolf Island, A Bear's Life, The Seal Garden and The Great Bear Sea and wrote City Critters, about urban wildlife. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Christian Down is a producer, musician and voice actor from Victoria, British Columbia.
- Short-listed, Animal Behavior Society Children's Book Award
- Commended, OLA Top Ten Best Bets
- Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
- Commended, Bank Street College of Education Best Books of the Year
"This book has really great pictures and will be interesting for readers to learn about a different part of the world, especially one under water…A worthwhile read for younger children."
Kiss the Book blog
"This third title in the My Great Bear Rainforest series features striking underwater photographs of seals, sea lions, and otters…McAllister's photos of seals peering above the waterline and sea lions lounging on rocks are equally compelling. Read builds a sense of the lurking dangers awaiting seals outside the garden and concludes by evoking a sense of the broader ecosystem that the series explores."
"As with Wolf Island and A Bear's Life the bold layout of beautiful wildlife photography combined with adroit text gives the reader a glimpse into a magical world that inspires a sense of wonder. The writing skillfully incorporates facts with a story that promotes understanding of nature. This book is highly recommended for school and public libraries. It would be an appropriate gift for any child. Children are curious about nature and love a good story. The Seal Garden provides for both."
"Playful images of seals abound. Even the coral, kelp, and stones are shot with care…McAllister and Read's love for the wildlife of the Great Bear Rainforest is evident in their respect for their subjects. Recommended for nature lovers and those that need encouragement to dip their toes into nonfiction."
School Library Journal
"The stunning photography makes one feel as if they are there with the animals under and above the sea…This is an excellent choice for grades 2-4 doing projects on sea mammals. The photography is enough to interest any curious child in the story."
Youth Services Book Review
The expert photography in these books is the perfect medium to tell the stories of survival in this unique wild place…The books in the 'My Great Bear Rainforest' series can effectively be shared with younger listeners who will find the photos captivating and whose curiosity will be aroused by the infrequently seen settings. Highly Recommended.
"This information book reads like a story for young readers while also teaching about this beautiful environment. It will make a great addition to your nonfiction collection for early to middle graders."
Sal's Fiction Addiction blog
"The concept of a seal garden will be new to most viewers, and the illustrations will intrigue children and adults alike. McAllister's handsome photos, particularly those taken underwater, offer some unusual and almost otherworldly effects of light and color. An intriguing addition to the My Great Bear Rainforest series, which includes Wolf Island and A Bear's Life."
"Striking images, both above and under the water, show wide-eyed seals and the larger sea lions…An attractive addition to settings where Wolf Island and A Bear's Life have been popular."
"The photographs of marine animals such as harbor seals, elephant seals, sea lions, otters, and fish are exquisite. Recommended."
School Library Connection
Other titles by Ian McAllister
My Great Bear Rainforest Bundle
Babies of the Great Bear Rainforest
Babies of the Great Bear Rainforest Read-Along
Great Bear Rainforest
A Giant-Screen Adventure in the Land of the Spirit Bear