The excitement of the ocean world from the beach to the deep and all between is conveyed by the jam-packed illustrations in this celebration.
The text is limited to a sentence before the title page setting up the premise—Izzy’s family goes to the beach—and captions for the double-page spreads—“Wow! Shells!” “Wow! Tide Pool!” “Wow! Turtles!” and so forth. Each busy, oversized spread contains a colorful framed illustration with numerous figures drawn with a heavy, black line. Each creature has an almost inconspicuous label. Even the frames are filled with color splotches. Two children, variously equipped with surf boards, masks, diving gear and submersible vehicles, explore these waters. Sharp-eyed readers will also follow their dog chasing the crab through each setting (even in the fishy endpapers). The author has chosen his creatures carefully, including many his readers will already have heard of (octopus, manta rays, blue whales, great white sharks) and more that will be new. These are not pictured to scale but are reasonably recognizable by shape and coloration. There’s humor and fantasy (in the deep, the dog sprouts fins and a tail) but also plenty of solid identification information for readers who like to know the names of things. Izzy’s enthusiasm will be familiar to readers of Wow! City! (2004), Wow! America! (2006) and Wow! School! (2007).
This ideal post–aquarium-visit souvenir has similar child appeal. (Picture book. 3-7)