Gorgeous photographs and straightforward counting offer preschoolers a few facts about some ocean animals.
As is to be expected for a National Geographic title, Skerry’s photographs take center stage. Each double-page spread is filled completely with a close-up of the featured species in its natural environment, capturing a small slice of life and hooking readers. From the photo of the hammerhead sharks, seen in shadow from underneath, to the brilliantly colored glass eye fish that “dart and dip” such that the picture’s background shows a slight blur, each page turn surprises. Young readers will be fascinated by the mix of mammals, fish and invertebrates—a green sea turtle, Bermuda sea chub, harp seals, star-eyed parrotfish, Caribbean reef squid, Adélie penguins, sea otters—that represent a wide range of marine environments. The brightly colored numerals in the corners are prominent, while a brief paragraph tells about each of the 10 different marine species, giving basic facts and frequently drawing readers in with a question. “Five arms on this pink sea star bend and flex. Tube-like suckers underneath these arms hold the sea star in place. What else do the suckers do? They grab food and help the sea star move.” “Did you know” boxes provide one other tidbit. Backmatter includes more counting practice, facts about each species (home, size, food, predators, young), a map, glossary and list of resources.
A great counting and learning combination. (Informational picture book. 3-5)