Jacobs is more successful than McGovern (The Underwater World of the Coral Reef, 1977) at infusing vitality into a simple description of coral and coral-reef development. Though the occasional SNAP! SNAP! SNAP! and CRUNCH! CRUNCH! CRUNCH! are routine ploys, and the illustrations are handicapped by the limited color range, readers do get an impression of motion, action, and change in the corals' progression from larvae to colony. And without any breathless phrases, there is also a suggestion of exotic variety in the descriptions and pictures of the differently formed corals and the fish and sea animals that live in the reef.