theme: fish, nature, ocean
by Bridget Heos; illus. by David Clark
32 pages; ages 4-7
HMH Books for Young Readers, 2018
People walk on land and need air to breathe. Fish, on the other hand, have fins and spend their whole lives underwater. So how could we be anything alike?
Bridget Heos gives us the inside scoop. She reveals secrets of breathing underwater, and tricks of hunting for food. We learn how to hide from predators and how to make friends with fierce fish.
What I like about this book: It's fun! Between Bridget's zany section headings (Peanut Butter and Jellyfish) and David Clark's cartoony illustrations, we learn lots of stuff about fish and their underwater neighbors. We meet clown fish, sunfish, and cleaner wrasses. What I like about David's illustrations is the way he combines his cartoon fish with photos of real fish. And of course there's Back Matter - a glossary, and some web articles and books for curious icthyologists-in-training.
This book is in the same series as Just Like Us! Plants, and Just Like Us! Ants.
Face to Face with Sharks
by David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes
32 pages; ages 7-10
National Geographic Children's Book, 2018
David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes are wildlife photographers and researchers. They have spent hours swimming with sharks! According to Jennifer, not only do they like sharks, but sharks are their favorite subject to snap photos of.
What I like about this book: It's divided into four chapters, with the last one focusing on conservation. Shark populations are declining - and the researchers make strong arguments for why we should take action to help them. I also like the sidebars, including one on "how not to get eaten by a shark". Back matter includes actions kids can take to help sharks, and shark facts.
Beyond the books:
Make your own "Go Fish" deck of cards and play some games. You can find some cards to print and color here - and check out their shark game, too. You can find rules for "Go Fish" here.
Create or design your own fish. For ideas, check out the Erie Art Museum's "Go Fish" project.
Visit an aquarium - or a pet store - and sketch a few fish. How are they alike? How are they different? Check out this Fish Page from National Geographic.
STEM Friday, where you can discover other cool STEM books. We'll join Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website - after the Holiday Story Contest is finished. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books.
Review copies provided by the publishers.