Sea Slime: It’s Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea
by Ellen Prager; illus. by Shennen Bersani
32 pages; ages 4-8
Arbordale (previously Sylvan Dell), 2014
Themes: nature, ocean, nonfiction
“Under the sea there is something gooey. It slips, slides, and sticks.” I love the way this book opens with alliteration – and the promise of something slimy and gross.
Lots of ocean animals, it turns out, use slime. It helps them go faster, find food, and avoid becoming someone else’s dinner. We expect sea slugs and snails to make slime. But clownfish?
What I like about the book: Each page highlights a creature that uses slime in some way. From jellyfish to slugs to squid, this book underscores the diversity of life in the ocean. There are so many cool creatures that I’ve never heard of, like the vampire squid that shoots beads of glowing goo from the tips of its arms.
At the back there’s more for curious kids: a page on “why slime”, a look at “lifestyles of the Wet and Slimy” and a recipe to make your own slime.
Beyond the Book: You don’t need to dive into the ocean to find slime. Just follow a Snail. Walking around on one foot is tough, so snails make slime that helps them move a bit easier. The slime reduces friction on the surface so the snail can smoothly glide… and it’s sticky enough to allow snails to go up walls.
Some plants produce slime, too. Break open an aloe leaf and rub the gooey stuff on your skin. Aloe slime is used for healing burns and other things. Okra is another plant that produces slime; just cut up a pod and cook it in hot water to release the slime. (Hint: don’t do this if you want to eat it.)
Make your own slime. One way to make slime is mix 1 cup of cornstarch into 1/2 cup of water. Stir as you go.
To make a gelatinous slime use non-toxic school glue and borax. For transparent slime, use clear glue. In one container mix 1 teaspoon of borax in 1 cup of water – stir until dissolved. In another container, mix 1/2 cup of glue in 1/2 cup of water and stir to dissolve. Then pour the glue mixture into the borax solution while stirring slowly. When it begins to make slime, dive in with your hands and knead it. Here’s a video showing how to make slime with a good explanation of the cross-linked polymer you’re creating.
Drop by STEM Friday to see what other science books and resources bloggers are sharing. Today's review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copy provided by publisher.