Helen Ahpornsiri’s Beneath the Waves by Lily Murray & Helen Ahpornsiri


Published by Big Picture Press, 2019.

Beneath the Waves is a breathtakingly beautiful, highly original book. The stunning illustrations are intricate collages made entirely from seaweed and flowers. Helen Ahpornsiri has collected and then hand-pressed these seaweeds and coastal plants, before cutting and delicately arranging them to form sea creatures. Fronds, stems and petals are transformed into whales, fish, octopus and seabirds. The effect is magnificent. You can watch a short video of Helen creating some of the book’s artwork by clicking here. It shows the whole process, from collecting the seaweed to the finished illustration.


I am amazed by the level of detail in Helen’s pictures: whiskers, scales, downy feathers and sea foam all exquisitely made from plants. It must have been painstaking work but the results are just incredible! I have loved poring over the pages; the rich and varied textures, colours and patterns are utterly gorgeous.


The book’s scope is broad and covers the coast, open ocean, tropics and polar waters. The accompanying text is fascinating and will satisfy wildlife enthusiasts young and old.


Beneath the Waves really is a work of art – one to treasure and delight in.

Rating: 💙💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 6+

Thank you to Big Picture Press for sending me this book to review.

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