Follow a silver submarine through grand adventures in this French import.
When readers open the durable, oversized cardboard pages they’re immersed in gorgeous, sweeping digital renderings of colorful ocean ecosystems. There’s only a smattering of plot: A tiny submarine plunges underwater to explore but is whisked off course by a violent storm, ultimately traveling to the Arctic, along coral reefs, down to the ocean’s dark trenches, and back up to the sunny surface. Conversationally narrated as though readers are riding along, the text names the species depicted and provides clues to help locate and identify most from among the busyness, though some specimens are missing any contextual hint and would benefit from a label or key. The teeny, thin type is also tricky to see against the large pages. An accompanying, digitally accessible ocean soundtrack is nicely atmospheric but also suffers from vagueness, as without track markers, it’s challenging to match the page with specific movements. But the immersive, multilayered art teeming with intricately drawn crowds of sea creatures set on ethereal backgrounds and the feeling of grand scale admirably capture the majesties under the sea. Variegated background shades of blue and green make the colorful underwater flora and fauna glisten, especially the metallic-inked silver sub and dynamic neon pink and Day-Glo yellow highlights.
Quibbles won’t prevent readers from diving in and marveling. (Board book. 2-4)