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SEA TURTLES by Mary M. Cerullo


Ocean Nomads

by Mary M. Cerullo & photographed by Jeffrey L. Rotman

Age Range: 7 - 11

Pub Date: May 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-525-46649-5
Publisher: Dutton

Jam-packed with information and photographs, this ocean adventure falls short of potential due to poor organization and occasional heavy-handedness. Beginning with two divers swimming through underground caves near Borneo that are littered with skeletons from sea turtles that were lost underwater and drowned, it abruptly switches to describe species of sea turtles, their birth on land, the mysteries of their lives at sea, and their alarming potential for extinction. Gorgeous, informative photographs are a highlight—but the layout, with too many sidebars that sometimes take up a full double spread, and are set in hard-to-read white-on-black type, significantly detracts from them. Worse, readers are told that “almost all the perils [a sea turtle faces] can be traced back to humans,” just after being told how turtles can drown on their own, and before being told how turtle hatchlings are eaten by natural predators before they reach the ocean. Hyperbole lessens the effectiveness of the message that sea turtles need global protection. For a better turtle conservation story, read Lasky and Knight’s Interrupted Journey. For sea turtle facts, this is adequate. (Nonfiction. 7-11)