The Best of Big Blue Live | SLJ DVD Review

redstarThe Best of Big Blue Live. (BBC Earth). 56 min. Dist. by PBS. 2016. $24.99. ISBN 9781627895163.  DVD_The Best of Big Blue Live

Gr 6 Up –The geography, history, and ecology of Monterey Bay, CA, are presented in this excellent program detailing the significance of the bay’s location and the many species that live within its waters. For a brief period each year, thousands arrive in the bay to rest and feed during epic ocean migrations to comprise the largest gathering of sea mammals in the world. Humpback whales, orcas, great white sharks, dolphins, sea lions, otters, pelicans, and blue whales are shown cavorting and feeding on the bounty of the bay. The history of whaling (the state’s last whaling station closed in 1971), the perils and threats to various sea life, and the success stories of mammals that have rebounded from near extinction—sea lions—are examined. Great aerial shots include interaction between orcas and humpbacks, dolphins fleeing from orcas, and spectacular footage of a blue whale. The sense that this nature piece is being taped “live” gives it an interactive feel and makes it even more engaging. After orcas appear, feeding on a dolphin, the ship observing nearby scoops up a remnant from the feeding, which turns out to be a (very large) squid eyeball. VERDICT Visually wonderful and chock-full of information about Monterey Bay, its inhabitants, and visiting species, this film would be of interest in marine biology and environmental science classes.–Cynthia Ortiz, Hackensack High School, NJ

This review was published in the School Library Journal April 2016 issue.

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