The Toy and the Tide Pool by Gillian King-Cargile

Book Info

Grade Level
Elementary School
STEM Concepts
Marine Biology, Earth Science

Written by Gillian King-Cargile and Illustrated by Kevin Krull

In the second book in the series, Bear gets lost at the beach and befriends Princess Shelleena, a mermaid doll. He learns about tides and the fascinating creatures who call tide pools their home. But can Bear’s new friend help him find a way to signal for help before the high tide sweeps him out to sea? This silly, salty adventure introduces young readers to interesting ocean animals and helps them understand concepts of biodiversity and earth system science. It concludes with an interview with a marine biologist from Chicago’s world-renowned Shedd Aquarium.


Interview with Kevin Krull

Kevin Krull, Illustrator of The Stuffed Bunny Science Adventure Series discusses how he got his inspiration for the vibrant illustrations.

Hermit Crabs with Cindy Khatri

In “Toy and the Tide Pool,” Bear encounters some hermit crabs, and in this video, Cindy Khatri of the Midwest Museum of Natural History tells us that they are not really hermits, and much more.

Author Gillian King-Cargile Talks Tides

Author extraordinaire Gillian King-Cargile, author of the Stuffed Bunny Science Adventure series, talks about the second book in the series, the Toy and the Tide Pool.

The Toy and the Tide Pool Read Aloud

Author Gillian King-Cargile reads The Toy and the Tide Pool.


Sculpt an Ocean Creature

Build a sculpture of your favorite ocean creature.

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Bear’s Tide Pool Adventure


Idea Sparks and Mini Lessons

These questions, prompts, and short activities provide quick ways to inspire interest and explore the STEAM concepts related to the book. Idea Sparks and Mini Lessons can also be used for differentiation and to foster new ideas of your own.

Download Lesson Plan.

Pull Students in with the Tide

Get students excited about the concepts in The Toy and the Tide Pool by creating a collaborative collage of creatures that might be found in a tide pool. Make an artful display on a bulletin board or another large space in your classroom by using different materials to construct a massive tide pool. Use this to facilitate a discussion.

Download Lesson Plan.

Don’t Get Wet, Bear!

In this lesson, students will explore natural features found in and around tide pools. Using items found near a tide pool habitat, students will create a device that allows Bear to float on water and stay dry.

Download Lesson Plan.

Video Discussion Guide

Watch the videos and then use these questions to facilitate classroom discussions about the topics presented.

Download the Video Discussion Guide.

About the Author

Author Gillian King-Cargile is director of Northern Illinois University’s STEM Read program (, which introduces young readers to the science, technology, engineering, and math concepts behind popular fiction. She holds a BA in film production and an MFA in creative writing from Southern Illinois University, and lives with her husband and daughters in DeKalb, Illinois.

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About the Illustrator

Illustrator Kevin Krull holds a BFA in illustration from Northern Illinois University. His illustrations have appeared in Creative Quarterly and have been shown in the Chicago area. He loved to color when he was a kid, and obviously he never quite grew up—he lives in Chicago, Illinois, where he continues to draw and color all day long.

Other Books in the Stuffed Bunny Science Series