NEPTUNE’S NURSERY by Allan Sheather


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 10
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This rhyming picture puzzle book challenges young viewers to find the mystery animal as it begins: “I’m like no other creature / On land or in the sea. / Read on and you’ll discover / Just how I came to be.” Throughout, the authors provide tantalizing clues to the sea creature’s identity, while the illustrator portrays a stunning underwater world, impossibly vivid with swirling indigo seas, and neon-colored sea creatures. The author-artist, a graphic designer and silk artist, uses a combination of ink and dyes blended like watercolors and painted on silk to create spectacular underwater scenes. Information on the art is provided in a welcome note by the publisher. Deep blue and green silk backgrounds are patterned with dyes to give a fluid, dappled appearance, and animals are rimed with a narrow neon yellow line and modeled with light and dark areas so even dull, dark-colored creatures like whales and dolphins stand out. Text weaves in and out of paintings as sea creatures, from rock lobster to great white shark, tell about their life beneath the sea, until finally the mystery creature is presented. Then the author provides detailed information about the mystery animal, thumbnail facts about other animals introduced, and a glossary of words used in the text. Viewers will especially enjoy going back through the book to discover the animal hiding in almost every illustration. Originally published in Australia, this is an exceptionally beautiful, informative, and inviting look at sea life. (Nonfiction/poetry. 5-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 1-57091-391-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2000