Perfect Picture Book Friday – Deep, Deep, Down: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench

Happy New Year, Everyone!

I hope you all had wonderful holidays!

I’m thrilled to be welcoming you back to Perfect Picture Book Friday with a fantastic book I’m really excited to share by a talented author! I also love that it’s a picture book for a slightly older audience, 7-10!

Let’s get right to it!

Title: Deep, Deep, Down: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench

Written By: Lydia Lukidis

Illustrated By: Juan Calle

Publisher: Capstone Editions, a Capstone imprint, December 29, 2022

Suitable For Ages: 7-10

Themes/Topics: nonfiction, sea creatures of the Mariana Trench, extreme living conditions

text copyright Lydia Lukidis 2022, illustration copyright Juan Calle 2022, Capstone Editions

Opening: “Deep, deep, down
at the bottom
of the Pacific Ocean
lies a secret place.

Hidden from sight,
the Mariana Trench
is the deepest underwater valley
in the world.”

text copyright Lydia Lukidis 2022, illustration copyright Juan Calle 2022, Capstone Editions

Brief Synopsis: Deep, deep down, at the very bottom of the ocean, lies a secret world. Through lyrical narration, this spare-text STEM picture book takes readers on a journey to a place very few humans have ever been–the Mariana Trench. The imagined voyage debunks scary myths about this mysterious place with surprising and beautiful truths about life at Earth’s deepest point. DEEP, DEEP, DOWN: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench shows a vibrant world far below, and teaches readers how interconnected our lives are to every place on the planet.

text copyright Lydia Lukidis 2022, illustration copyright Juan Calle 2022, Capstone Editions

Links To Resources: The book itself is a resource, including information about underwater creatures here and there throughout the text as well as back matter with “Did you know?” questions and answers, a note from the author, and a glossary. But today we have a special treat! Lydia is kindly sharing with us a little bit about how she wrote the book as well as the link to her wonderful teachers’ guide for both teachers and parents! Thank you so much for joining us today, Lydia! Take it away!

Author Lydia Lukidis: Thanks for having me in your blog, Susanna, and Happy New Year everyone!

Researching this book was certainly an adventure- though I’m no stranger to research, a lot of the information out there about the Mariana Trench is false or out of date. The first few manuscripts I wrote had to be completely rewritten once I found my first and main expert, Dr. Gerringer. From there, I met 5 other experts (one specifically studies sea cucumbers, one devotes her life to understanding geological forces, and I also spoke with one of the first people to ever journey to the trench.) One can never truly understand the beauty and mystery of the trench without speaking to people who study it and have seen it themselves. This brought on a few years of research and after over 55 rewrites, the text was finally there.

My goal in writing this book was twofold: firstly, to educate children on the deepest ocean of our world and debunk the myth that “scary” creatures live within its depths, and secondly, to talk about ocean conservation and the importance of this fascinating ecosystem. The text of the narrative itself is layered. Younger students can focus on the main text while older students can also read the sidebars and detailed backmatter to have a more in depth understanding of the Mariana Trench and its inhabitants.

I also created a teacher guide, both for educators and parents. It provides dozens of curriculum standards in Common Core ELA and Math, and Next Generation Science Standards that align with the narrative. It also proposes various curriculum-based activities for students K-6.

Here are some examples:

-art activities

-word memory game

-crossword puzzle

-word search

-coloring sheets

-poetry exercises


-and much more! Click HERE to download the guide.

Capstone and I also created a beautiful poster and trading cards for children. You can find then on my website:

I hope everyone enjoys these goodies! Writing about the deep sea has always been a dream of mine and this was a labor of love.

Susanna: Thank you so much, Lydia! What a treat for all of us! And congratulations on this beautiful and informative book!

I’d also like to share her trailer so you can all see it here if you’d like to!

Why I Like This Book: This book offers a glimpse into a place that most people will never see in real life. The writing is beautifully evocative, helping readers to feel like they’re there with descriptions not only of what it looks like, but of what it feels like. You’re not just reading a book, you’re having an experience. I think kids will love that! Strange and wondrous creatures are able to live so deep below the surface of the water in spite of the dark, the cold, and the tremendous pressure because of fascinating adaptations, like the Sea Cucumber which can withstand the pressure because it has no bones. There is nothing gross or scary about the creatures described, it’s just really interesting. And the art is gorgeous! My son would have read this book a thousand times when he was little, and I know there are lots of young readers out there who are going to love it!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 😊

Author Lydia Lukidis

Lydia Lukidis is the author of 50+ trade and educational books for children. Her titles include DANCING THROUGH SPACE: Dr. Mae Jemison Soars to New Heights (Albert Whitman, 2024), DEEP, DEEP, DOWN: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench (Capstone, 2023), THE BROKEN BEES’ NEST(Kane Press, 2019) which was nominated for a Cybils Award, and NO BEARS ALLOWED (Clear Fork Media, 2019). A science enthusiast from a young age, she now incorporates her studies in science and her everlasting curiosity into her books.

Lydia is an active member of SCBWI, CANSCAIP, 12 x 12, and The Authors Guild. She’s very involved in the kidlit community and also volunteers as a judge on Rate your Story. Another passion of hers is fostering love for children’s literacy through the writing workshops she regularly offers in elementary schools. Lydia is represented by literary agent Miranda Paul from the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

Social Media Links

Website & order links:
Twitter: @LydiaLukidis

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific blog links (and any other info you feel like filling out 😊) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! 😊

17 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Deep, Deep, Down: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench

  1. phyllisharris50 says:

    I am so happy for you, Lydia! This book looks and sounds amazing! I can’t wait to get a copy. 🙂 I am so blessed because Lydia has been one of my amazing critique partners through the years.

  2. Sue Heavenrich says:

    How very funny! We are talking about the same book this week! It is a wonderful book, and reading it feels like sinking down, down into the deep.

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