Catastrophe by the Sea by Brenda Paterson. Illustrated by Ed Young

Catastrophe by the Sea

A cat named Catastrophe wanders from his home close to the sea and prowls along the beach at low tide, lost and missing his family. He thinks he’s all alone, so he’s surprised when an octopus squirts an inky substance at him. Soon after, a sea anemone shoots salty spray into his face. What is this inhospitable, strange habitat he’s wandered into? Catastrophe feels more alone than ever.

But that changes when the sea anemone says, “Why are you all by yourself? I have lots of friends in our cozy colony.” She introduces herself as Naimonee, and welcomes Catastrophe to the unique environment of the low tide pool. Catastrophe is heartened by the creature’s welcome, and soon also meets Buddy the barnacle and his gang.

When the tide comes in, Catastrophe and the creatures are swept up in a wave, and then thrown back onshore. The cat worries that he’s lost his new friends. Then another seemingly dangerous situation presents itself. But surprisingly, Catastrophe finds his way home, wiser, more empathetic, and filled with wonder at all he’s learned about the sea creatures in the low tide pool.

In author’s notes, Brenda Paterson explains that her goal in writing this book—in collaboration with the Seattle Aquarium and renowned artist Ed Young—is to show that “these tide pool animals have much to teach us about endurance, belonging together, and cherishing our home beach.”

By sharing this exquisite, informative picture book, Christian parents and children can celebrate the amazing wonders of God’s good creation. (West Margin Press)

About the Author

Sonya VanderVeen Feddema is a freelance writer and a member of Covenant CRC in St. Catharines, Ontario.

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