Nine different marine animals are featured in detail with emphasis on their dots, stripes, and squiggles.
What begins as a set of three simple, colored dots at the opening of the book grows to become the dots, stripes, and squiggles of different underwater creatures. After the colored dots (one in each primary color), readers see close-up snippets of each animal—a head, a tail, fins, tentacles, claws—before each is revealed in its entirety. Nerlove’s vibrant watercolor illustrations are presented on a stark white background on each double-page spread, allowing readers to really take in each tiny sucker on the blue-ringed octopus and every spine on the zebra lionfish. The opening color palette of the three dots in red, blue, and yellow is echoed in each of the subsequent illustrations, subtly hidden in the yellow striping on the eel and the blue dots on the jewel damselfish. The rhythmic movement of Tuttle’s repetitive “dot, stripe, squiggle” in various iterations invites readers to point and observe, although they may do little else. The real stars here are the lifelike illustrations, and the words certainly get out of the way. A really clear, simple illustrated key to the animals pictured closes out the book, presenting names as bold and unusual as the animals themselves.
Curious, observant young readers will love the impressive artwork, which is ultimately the standout in this board book. (Board book. 1-3)