This picture book introduces children to undersea creatures through an angelfish’s travels.
Jamie, a queen angelfish, wants to take readers along as she meets other aquatic animals and swims around “our ocean park,” a coral reef, hoping to meet a shark. Humans will naturally need to don flippers and a mask to accompany Jamie, but once they do, they can explore all the lovely things underwater, such as corals, sponges, many kinds of fish, and other sea creatures. These are described in rhyming verse; a moray eel, for example, “has fang-like teeth / that hold very tight. / It may hurt a little / if he gets a bite.” Jamie finally spies a shark and helps redeem the animal’s scary reputation: “They’re not interested in us when other food can be found, / while they clean up the ocean as they move around.” Finally, the work urges readers to safeguard the oceans, giving some practical tips on how kids can help (by reducing plastic use, for example). This book by the Pechters (Skyward Bound, 2017, etc.), a husband-and-wife team of underwater photojournalists, is packed with many gorgeous pictures of beautifully colored and patterned creatures. (Morton Pechter died in 2008.) A useful table of contents identifies each denizen of the deep with name, page number, and a snapshot. Altogether, this pleasing display rewards long gazing and helps the lessons about oceans, sea creatures, and environmental protections go down easily.
An attractive, well-illustrated tale that examines coral reef ecology.