Here’s a colorful, factoid-filled offering about many kinds of fish.
In a sequence of topical double-page spreads, it covers what distinguishes fish from other animals (cutaway diagrams show the insides of two fish), how they evolved, where they live, what they eat, how they survive and defend themselves, how they propagate, and their relationship to humans. One spread, odd in its specificity, discusses Atlantic salmon. These subjects are explained in brief paragraphs written in a conversational tone accompanied by digital illustrations with labeled examples of well-defined fish specimens; the graphics and charts aptly flow with energy. Topic presentation is arbitrary and organizationally loose, which encourages browsing rather than strictly orderly, page-by-page perusal. Occasionally, readers must turn the book 90 degrees to read text and examine artwork. Attractive design elements include the helpful use of boldfaced type to set off names of individual fish species in captions and labels. A few spreads invite children to embark upon attention-getting “can-you-find-it?” challenges that don’t really have much to do with the subject at hand, though they are amusing; one challenge encourages youngsters to find a bristlemouth lurking somewhere inside the book. Though it won’t support report writers and there is no glossary or pronunciation guide, this will be welcome in classroom libraries.
Nothing fishy about it: Enthusiasts can dive right in. (Informational picture book. 6-9)