This week’s theme: animal adaptations, ocean. exploration
by Jenna Grodzicki
32 pages; ages 4-9
Millbrook Press, 2019
Pineapples, pancakes, and chocolate chip cookies are tasty treats. But did you know they all live in the ocean?
Wait! Really? Chocolate chip cookies? Ok, maybe not cookies, but chocolate chip sea stars live in the ocean. So do pineapple fish, pancake batfish, and pizza crust sea slugs! Excuse me – I’ve got to grab a snack now, but I’ll be right back…
… OK, where was I? <brushing cookie crumbs off keyboard>
Oh yes, What I
- the mouthwatering names of sea creatures. In addition to pizza and cookies, there are fruits (sea apples and banana wrasse) and vegetables (cauliflower jellyfish and lettuce sea slugs). So it’s a well-balanced menu – er, book;
- the delicious photos of the fish and sea slugs and sea stars;
- the “fast facts” sidebars for every creature, providing species name, size, range and habitat, and what eats it;
- and the breezy, fun way Jenna Groszicki introduces each creature. For example, when discussing egg yolk jellyfish she subtitles her text “sunny-side up”. How imaginative!
Plus, dare I say it, Back Matter! In addition to a glossary and further reading, there’s a “Sea Food or Me Food?” quiz.
by Gail Gibbons
32 pages; ages 4-8
Holiday House, 2019
A large ship has reached its destination far out to sea.
This story begins even before we reach the title page. A ship anchors stops somewhere mid-ocean, and the scientists get ready to … explore the deep, dark sea. They stow gear and board the submersible. From there it’s
down through he sunlight zone.....
down through the twilight zone....
down into the dark zone until they reach the ocean floor.
What I like about this book: I always relish a dive into any book by Gail Gibbons. In addition to explaining things in clear and inviting language, her illustrations provide room for the reader to explore. For example, as the submersible sinks through each zone, the spreads are filled with ocean life – each labeled. Sometimes there’s a line of explanatory text, such as when she explains how the Tripod Fish props itself on its fins.
And there is Back Matter! One spread presents a timeline of diving “past and present”, from the first diving bell (1250) to the unmanned REMUS currently mapping the ocean floor. There is also a bit more about the “deep, dark sea”.
Beyond the Books:
Read more about Chocolate Chip sea stars (and their weird relatives) in National Geographic's "weird animals" column. (You can sign up for four free articles/month)
Learn more about ocean exploration in this National Geographic video (about 7 minutes long)
Check out ocean exploration technologies at this NOAA site.
STEM Friday, where you can discover other cool STEM books. And we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copies provided by the publishers.