City Fish, Country Fish
by Mary M. Cerullo; photos by Jeffrey L. Rotman
32 pages, for ages 8-12
Tilbury House, 2012
If you're expecting a cautionary tale about a country fish visiting his big city cousin - this isn't it. But, if you want the inside scoop on how "city fish" live, compared to "country fish" then this book is for you.
City fish live in the tropics, in coral reefs that are busy and crowded and home to a thousand different kinds of plants and animals. City fish, like city folk, rely on their "street smarts" to protect their food and home.
Country fish live in cool waters. There aren't so many kinds of fishes in the "country", so some of these country folk travel in schools - a great way to avoid predators, but not fishermen.
Mary Cerullo writes about life in high-rise fish condos and the less crowded life farther from the equator. "Many city fish are not built for long-distance travel," she writes, "because they rarely venture far from the security if their undersea refuge." Instead, they are designed for quick escapes, thin enough to slip through the narrow alleyways (imagine a DVD turned on its side). In contrast, country fish are robust, hardy creatures adapted to a life of swimming, or lying flat against the ocean floor.
Cerullo divulges fishy secrets of survival, gets close-up-and-personal with sharks, and offers insight into swimming with the fishes. She even clears up a question: If you've got a bunch, is it fish or fishes? If they're the same kind, it's "fish"; when talking about several different kinds, it's "fishes."
Jeff Rotman's photos spread across the pages. They're colorful, luscious, and take us right into the homes of a diversity of fish species. There's a glossary at the end and a list of books for readers who want to dive deeper. For teachers who want to dive deeper, Tilbury provides ideas for the classroom.
Check out other books and resources at STEM Friday and more great nonfiction books at Nonfiction Monday. Review copy of this book provided by publisher.