Else B. in the Sea -- Book Review & Giveaway with Under the Sea Craft Round-Up


Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am working with The Children's Book Review and Jeanne Walker Harvey to bring you this post and giveaway. All opinions are my own.

I love books that share about people you may not have heard of. Today I get to share a nonfiction picture book about a woman who explored colors and paints of under water to share what a scientist saw on his underwater exploration. The woman is Else Bostelmann. The book is Else B. in the Sea The Woman Who Painted the Wonders of the Deep by Jeanne Walker Harvey and illustrated by Melodie Stacey.

About the Book:

Else B. in the Sea: The Woman Who Painted the Wonders of the Deep

Written by Jeanne Walker Harvey and Illustrated by Melodie Stacey
Ages 5-7 | 32 Pages 
Publisher: Cameron Kids/ Abrams Books | ISBN-13: 9781949480283

Publisher’s Book Summary: A poetic picture book biography about a daring and pioneering woman artist that combines themes of art and science. A perfect STEAM book!

Else Bostelmann donned a red swimsuit and a copper diving helmet and, with paints and brushes in hand, descended into the choppy turquoise sea off the coast of Bermuda. It was 1930, and few had ventured deep into the sea before. She discovered a fairyland six fathoms below the surface—fantastic coral castles, glittering sunbeams, swaying sea plumes, and slender purple sea fans. And fish! Flashy silverfish, puckering blue parrotfish, iridescent jellyfish. Else painted under the sea! She painted what she saw with her own eyes.

Back on land, Else painted the never-before-seen deep-sea creatures described by world-renowned scientist William Beebe on his momentous 1930s bathysphere expeditions for the New York Zoological Society’s Department of Tropical Research. It was a daring and glamorous adventure and a dream come true for Else B., who shared this new, unfathomable world with humankind.

Purchase Link

About the Author

Jeanne Walker Harvey is the author of many award-winning picture books, including Boats on the Bay, as well as the well-received picture book biographies Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas and Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines. She lives in Sonoma, California.

For more information, visit 

About the Illustrator

Melodie Stacey is a fine artist and illustrator whose work can be found in the picture book Beautiful Useful Things. She lives in Brighton, United Kingdom.

From Me:

I always love a book about a woman who made a difference in our world that I have not heard of. I knew nothing about Else but am fascinated with how dedicated she was to her art. She went diving underwater when it was not easy to explore how color looked underwater and get an idea of what she would be painting for William Beebe when he brought back exotic sea life from depths not seen yet. I found this book so interesting with her realizing that red turned greyish almost instantly under the water. She also experimented with painting underwater. She apparently is known for painting the ocean. She did this in 1930.

I love that this book shares a piece of history and how a strong woman made a difference in our experience and knowledge of the deeper depths of the ocean. There is still a lot about the ocean that we do not know and have not visited. Yet, this woman was able to bring some of the amazing discoveries of Beebe to a broader audience and she took her job very seriously. She did her own studies to make sure she captured the correct lighting and colors as they would look underwater. This book captures her story and her curiosity. Her work is truly amazing, and the book is able to share a bit of this with a young audience. This book is perfect for a classroom learning about underwater creatures as well as art. It is also perfect for women's history. The book will also interest kids with a curiosity for underwater and the ocean. It is really interesting to check out some of Else's work. You can find out more about her and see some of her work here

Craft Round-Up

To go with this book, I asked my fellow bloggers to share some of their underwater sea life crafts. I included a few of my own but you can see all the books and crafts about the ocean and its creatures here. One of my favorite crafts shared is this Layers of the Ocean Craft from Teach Me Mommy. It seems perfect to go with this book and the work of Else.

There is quite a variety of sea life crafts shared but there was a large number of jellyfish, so the first collage is just jellyfish! You can see my jellyfish post here. There wasn't room in the collage to feature it.

1) Simple Everyday Mom shares an easy Paper Jellyfish Craft
2) The Craft Train shares a Tissue Paper Jellyfish Craft that Lights Up (these would make amazing under the sea party decorations)
3) Natural Beach Living shares an Easy Bowl Jellyfish Craft
4) Messy Little Monster shares a Cupcake Liner Jellyfish Puppet Craft
5) Hunny I'm Home shares a Paper Plate Jellyfish Craft
6) Jinxy Kids share fun Paper Plate Jellyfish Craft
7) Fireflies and Mud Pies shares an Upcycled CD & Ribbon Jellyfish Craft
8) The Best Ideas for Kids shares a Handprint Jellyfish Craft
9) In the Playroom shares a Watercolor Paper Bag Jellyfish Craft
10) STEAMsational shares a Lifelike Jellyfish Bottle Craft

And now for some more variety of crafts. Did I mention this is a huge round-up?

1) In the Playroom shares a Scaled Paper Plate Clown Fish
2) Natural Beach Living shares a Colorful Rainbow Fish Craft
3) Jinxy Kids shares an easy Rainbow Fish Craft
4) STEAMsational shares an X is for X-ray Fish Craft (be sure to check out Red Ted Art's X-Ray Fish Craft too)
5) Red Ted Art shares fun Paper Fan Fish Craft
7) Little Bins for Little Hands shares a fun Ocean Painting Craft (perfect for sharing Else's story)
8) Beth Ann Averill shares an adorable Crab Paper Plate Craft
9) Hunny I'm Home shares another cute Rocking Crab Paper Plate Craft
10) STEAMsational shares a fun Diving Fish Diving Experiment

1) STEAM-Powered Family shares an Ocean Tunnel Book Craft
2) Thinking Kids Blog shares a Paper Plate Ocean Craft that Goes with Psalm 69:34 (note the printable is currently on sale for free but I don't know how long the sale will last)
3) Kelly's Classroom Online shares a fun View from a Submarine which could be Else's view from her cooper helmet
4) The Craft Train shares a cool Light Up Reef Craft
6) JDaniel4's Mom shares a fun Paper Plate Shark Mask Craft
7) In the Playroom shares a Paper Plate Whale
8) STEAMsational shares a fun Narwhal Craft
9) Little Bins for Little Hands shares a Mixed Media Shark Craft
11) Simple Everyday Mom shares this fun Shark Headband Craft

1) Beth Ann Averill shares an O is for Octopus Craft for Preschoolers
2) Jinxy Kids shares an easy and colorful Paper Octopus Craft
3) Simple Everyday Mom shares a Paper Chain Octopus Craft
4) Messy Little Monster shares a Washi Tape Octopus Craft
5) Little Bins for Little Hands share a fun Salt Dough Starfish Craft
6) In the Playroom shares a fun Starfish Craft with a Free Template
7) Taming Little Monsters shares an Under the Sea Silhouette Art Craft
8) A Little Pinch of Perfect shares a Button Starfish Craft
9) STEAMsational shares an adorable Oyster Craft
10) Taming Little Monsters shares an Easy Paper Plate Dolphin Craft
11) Red Ted Art shares a Turtle Bookmark
12) STEAMsational shares a Paper Plate Seahorse Craft


Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of Else B. in the Sea: The Woman Who Painted the Wonders of the Deep! Prizes include a class set of 30 books, swag like an Else Bostelman painting on a bookbag and notebook, stickers, and signed/customized bookplates. Good luck!!