When I was teaching 2nd-3rd grade with Marianne McWhirter, she read aloud from Eugenie Clark: Shark Lady. I always enjoyed how well-rounded that book was as a biography. Nivola's telling of Sylvia Earle's interest in the ocean provides a strong main character who is a woman scientist. Earle's interests and punctuated moments from her career provide the structure for the book, and go a long way toward humanizing the water so inhospitable to humans.
The painting style was enjoyable, with a breathtaking use of watercolor pointillism on some pages. Some of these pages are so filled with small animals and objects that it is easy to get lost in the frame and sit just looking. I wish she had carried this emphasis on the wide horizontal panorama through the entire book. WHen she switches to a new layout with the text down the vertical side, I think it cuts the proportions too closely and the images aren't as inviting. Out of the last three spreads, the two that get narrowed down are the ones I wish were panoramic, and the one that is panoramic isn't as interesting to look at.