An invitation to explore ocean habitats from a British television presenter who has specialized in natural history, wildlife, and the water world.
Spread by double-page spread, this straightforward introduction provides an illustrated overview of a variety of ocean environments and their inhabitants. The table of contents is a simple list of topics, but the book’s nicely varied layout reveals the underlying organization: coastlines, shallow seas, the open ocean, the polar seas, the deep ocean, and plastic in the ocean. Each double-page spread introduces a different subject: habitats such as estuaries, seagrass beds, or hydrothermal vents; inhabitants such as seabirds, sharks, polar bears, and even deep-ocean monsters. Each topic is further developed with examples, which also appear, labeled, in the illustrations. Calder’s process suits the subject, combining the fluidity of drawing with inks, pens, and brushes with digital textures and techniques. Appropriately, the backgrounds are mostly blue or green like the sea. The text is relatively dense and, though lightly Americanized, occasionally shows its British origins: “The limpet is well known for its incredible ability to suck tightly onto a rock so that predators cannot prise it off and eat it.” (Unfamiliar terms—such as the limpet’s “radula”—are defined in context.) But her examples come from around the world, and there is an enormous amount of accurate information for curious and determined readers.
Clearly organized and attractively illustrated, this import should inspire some young readers to dive deeply. (Informational picture book. 7-10)