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FIRST BIG BOOK OF THE OCEAN by Catherine D. Hughes Kirkus Star


From the National Geographic Kids Everything series

by Catherine D. Hughes

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4263-1368-4
Publisher: National Geographic

Equally suitable for quick dips or lengthy dives, this gallery of ocean dwellers will attract schools of newly fledged readers.

Grouping her profiles by ocean (but noting wider distribution where appropriate), Hughes introduces 33 creatures or types of creature. These range from krill to blue whale, stony coral to Atlantic puffin and “deepsea anglerfish.” Coupled to big, bright nature photos, the captions, fact boxes and short passages of narrative present accurate, basic information about size, range, diet, common habitat, physical characteristics and even sounds in simply phrased, easily digestible morsels printed in several sizes and weights of type. The author uses several reinforcement techniques to help readers retain what they’ve learned. She repeats terms like “sessile” and “phytoplankton” that were defined in context earlier and asks questions that draw connections or spark reflection: “What is the tiniest kind of food that you eat?” Moreover, she closes with a spread of enrichment activities, a couple of websites for further information and an easy review quiz.

Substantial but never heavy, this is likely to float to the top of any young naturalist’s reading list. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 6-9)