BTS The Ocean Gardener written and illustrated by Clara Anganuzzi

The Ocean Gardener is out in the wild! This book was written and illustrated by Clara Anganuzzi, published by Little Tiger, and released on the 6th July. Clara is currently based in the UK, but she was born and raised in the Seychelles. She describes this book as a piece of home.

Below, please find a bit about the story and the brilliant inspiration behind it.

Ayla and her marine biologist mum live on a beautiful tropical island, surrounded by a coral reef. One morning, Ayla notices that many of the fish have disappeared, and the once vibrant corals have turned pale. Is it too late to save the reef? This stunningly illustrated picture book captures the beauty and magic of the coral reef and the important role it plays in the ocean’s ecosystem. From the impact global warming has on reefs to the amazing things marine biologists are doing to protect them, readers will love learning about this fascinating topic. Clara Anganuzzi’s gentle text and breathtaking artwork look at the complex topic of global warming in an eye-opening but positive way, showing us that we have time to reverse the damage that has been caused.


Starting with the Setting: This book is set in Anse Source d'Argent, on La Digue, which is probably the most iconic beach in Seychelles (and widely recognised as one of the most picturesque beaches in the world).

Another page is based on Beau Vallon, Mahe. Where Clara spent pretty much every weekend from when she was a little sprogling to a teen. The sunsets from there have been burned into her memory.

Another source of inspiration was Clara’s first home in Machabee, where they had a resident turtle, Peter, who would pop up every morning before school. The Ocean Gardener was inspired by people, like Clara’s friend (and awesome scientist) @chloepzs, who works hard to reverse the damaging effects of climate change, one little coral baby at a time. Clara wanted this book to be an uplifting and educational story - to encourage future generations.

Clara's friend, Chloe, worked with MCSS (Marine Conservation Society Seychelles) on a large-scale coral reef restoration project. 'The aim of this six-year project is to improve food security and livelihoods and mitigate disaster risk through the active restoration of coral reefs. To reduce the adverse impacts of climate change on local communities and coral reef-dependent economic sectors in the Ste Anne MNP.'

Have a look at what MCSS is up to through their instagram/website! 

Here’s some info about the character Design in The Ocean Gardener: specifically for Ayla & her mum.

Mum was inspired by Clara’s own mum, a marine biologist, who was one of two women on an Argentine research boat. A gentle, yet strong woman, with a fascinating life. (She also had a little seahorse friend in an aquarium in her lab)

And Ayla is a little Clara;  An ocean-obsessed, wild child who thought she could speak to animals.

And finally, here’s where you can grab yourself a copy! 

If you’d like more info, please contact: [email protected]

At illo agency, we pride ourselves in representing a collation of global illustrators, distinctly diverse in creativity and uniquely celebrated by like-minded clients across a range of commercial markets.