September 3, 2015

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Pick of the Day: Weird Sea Creatures

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red and orange creature against black backgroundHOYT, Erich. Weird Sea Creatures. 64p. index. photos. Firefly. July 2013. RTE $19.95. ISBN 978-1-77085-197-9; pap. $9.95. ISBN 978-1-77085-191-7.
Gr 5 Up
–Fangs, “fur,” and photophores abound in this colorful celebration of decidedly odd and recently discovered species. Through 50 gorgeous photos, readers are introduced to a yeti crab; a spined pigmy shark; Dumbo, the octopod; and many other deep-sea dwellers. A carefully constructed introduction presents the physical characteristics of the abyssal ocean–its cold darkness, its cruel pressure–and of the difficulties in finding, collecting, and photographing the creatures that call it home. Also included are explanations of the function of chromophores and photophores and the little that is known about the “language of light”’ of abyssal animals. Following those informative pages is an album of rare beauty. Stunning full-page photos give readers a rare close-up view of animals ranging in size from a 1/24 inch oikopleura squirt to a six-foot-long orangeback flying squid, each accompanied by a brief informative paragraph. For those who have enjoyed Sneed B. Collard’s The Deep-Sea Floor (Charlesbridge, 2003), this is a veritable book of revelations. A feast for the eye and a tickle for the mind.–Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY


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