Written by guest-blogger and local bibliophile, Mary Brelsford. Cover Photo Courtesy of Port Book and News.
The Olympic Peninsula’s aquatic habitats
The Olympic Peninsula and the surrounding waters of the Salish Sea, Pacific Ocean, Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Hood Canal are home to all kinds of animals. Some are readily seen; others are more elusive. But the search is half the fun! Here are some books to help acquaint younger family members with critters of all kinds you might find on your visit to the area. Plus we’ve listed a couple of guides on day hikes that can help you plan your future family outings to the Olympic Peninsula.
Let’s explore books about SEA LIFE.
Two books to acquaint the younger family members with critters of all kinds you might find on your visit to the area:
Where Do I Sleep?: A Pacific Northwest Lullaby by Jennifer Blomgren, Andrea Gavriel, Illustrator. Children’s Picture Book, Animals, Poetry, Fiction. First Published 2002.
This is called a lullaby book, because the copy is written in four-line soothing stanzas. Where does an otter sleep? Or a bear? Solve those mysteries and more in this beautifully illustrated book as dreamland awaits.
O is for Orca by Andrea Helman and Art Wolfe, photographer. Children’s Picture Book, Nature, Science. First published 2003.
Photos of animals you might see on the Olympic Peninsula are shown in full color, along with information about the critters in this book. Whales, Black Bear, Deer.
Explore the Salish Sea: A Nature Guide for Kids by Joseph K. Gaydos. Nonfiction, Environment, Nature, Teaching, Childrens. First Published
Home schooling? Need a suggestion for science topics? Try this book. It uncovers secrets of the watery parts of our ecosystem. Probably best for young adults. Get familiar with all the excitement that can be found under the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound and all the intricate biological connections along the shore. Plus, the photos are pretty stunning.
The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery. Nonfiction, Science, Animals, Environment, Nature. First Published 2015.
Scientists have only recently accepted the intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees, but now are watching octopuses solve problems and are trying to decipher the meaning of the animal’s color-changing techniques. You’ll be part of the observation of octopus personality differences. With her “joyful passion for these intelligent and fascinating creatures” (Library Journal Editors’ Spring Pick), Sy Montgomery chronicles the growing appreciation of this mollusk as she tells a unique love story. Funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about the meeting of two very different minds.
When you can finally visit the Feiro Marine Life Center in Port Angeles you’ll be able to see our resident octopus. Until then, check out the video on their site to see this magnificent animal.
More to explore – Plan your future trip
Here are some resources to inspire and anticipate future family exploration of the Olympic Peninsula:
Best Easy Day Hikes Olympic National Park by Erik Molvar
Every Kid Outdoors – Free national lands passes for fourth graders (and their families!)
Port Townsend Marine Science Center at Fort Worden State Park
Virtual story times from local libraries:
Happy Reading! Thanks again to Port Book and News in Port Angeles for reading suggestions. Port Book and News offers curbside pickup from 11am to 4pm; free home delivery for orders over $10 to locations between Black Diamond RD and Deer Park RD after 4pm; free ground shipping for orders over $30.