Good Eating: The Short Life of Krill
by Matt Lilley; illus. by Dan Tavis
36 pages; ages 6-8
Tilbury House Publishers, 2022
theme: nature, ocean, food chain
Hey, egg. What are you doing?
The egg, it turns out, is sinking. Down, down … and then it hatches into a weird six-armed larva that begins to swim up, up, up. Over time, this larva goes through changes, developing eyes, a mouth, and an appetite for small things. Really small things – plankton! From here on out it’s an eat-grow-swim world for the krill … until something big and hungry comes along.
What I like about this book: I like how the book is written as a conversation with a krill. Author Matt Lilley asks krill questions throughout. At the beginning: how can you do all this growing and changing without eating anything? I like how he warns them about predators. “Watch out! Penguins!” And the cheesy jokes: how many is a million million? A krillion!
There is back matter- more information about how krill are part of the ocean food web, and more krill facts. Did you know that krill can create their own light, like fireflies? Even the krill-covered end pages are fun.
I was intrigued by the voice in this book, so I asked Matt One Question
Me: How did you decide to address the book to the krill? You begin with "Hey, egg." And throughout you give them warnings about penguins and other predators.
Matt: The first draft of Good Eating was in the third person, but it didn't feel right to me. It felt like the audience would be too distant from the subject of the story. As soon as I changed it to second-person/"you", it felt right. I think addressing it to "you" makes the reader feel closer to the story. The narrator is addressing the krill as "you," but it also feels like the narrator is talking directly to the reader. It's a way of inviting the reader to imagine life through the eyes of that one krill.
Beyond the Books:
A single Antarctic krill can grow to be as long as your pinky (about 6 cm) and weigh up to 1 gram. A penny (US) weighs 2.5 grams. So how many krill is 10 pennies worth?
Play a round or two of Krill Smackdown. In this game you try to move your swarm of krill while collecting krill eggs and avoiding predators. Here's the link.
Learn more about Krill at the Antarctic. You can watch a "cool" video here.
Matt is a member of #STEAMTeam2022. You can find out more about him at his website.
Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by Myrick Marketing & Media