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CORAL REEFS by Sylvia A. Earle


by Sylvia A. Earle & illustrated by Bonnie Matthews

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7922-6953-5
Publisher: National Geographic

Here renowned marine biologist Earle essentially recasts her Hello, Fish (1999) as a more conventional introduction to reef residents and visitors. Matthews sets the scene with brightly colored, cartoon-flat reefscapes that feature varieties of corals, fish, shellfish, and other creatures, all being observed by a snorkeling child and a green-yellow-fuchsia parrotfish. The author notes efforts to save endangered reefs without mentioning specific cases, and closes with an invitation to visit these “cities that never sleep,” but offers no sources, paper or electronic, for further information. Though Matthews captures the reef’s shimmery beauty, her pictures will not convey to viewers either the fine details or the range of colors and surface textures, that photographs, such as the ones that grace Hello, Fish or Mary M. Cerullo’s Coral Reef (1996, illustrated by Jeffrey Rotman), do. A worthy addition to the large school of like titles, but Earle’s just treading water. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-8)