NONFICTION

Animals of the Coral Reef

Clownfish; Moray Eels; Octopuses; Sea Snakes; Spiny Lobsters; Whitetip Reef Sharks
ISBN 9781644871317; ISBN 9781644871324; ISBN 9781644871331; ISBN 9781644871348; ISBN 9781644871355; ISBN 9781644871362..
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K-Gr 3–Each title in this series looks at one type of animal commonly associated with coral reefs. The focus is squarely on the animals and not the biome itself. The text covers physical features, behavior, predators, and food. More complex subjects like life cycles are not examined; animal size ranges are also absent. Short sentences and large fonts make the books accessible to younger readers. More challenging words like crustaceans and mucus are in boldface and defined in the glossary. For the most part, visual content effectively supports the information. The layouts feature varied frames to highlight photographs, most of which directly support the content. Simple captions identify body parts where needed. Multiple species are represented visually, and some scenes are especially engaging. For example, in Clownfish, a clownfish hides from an unaware eel. However, in a few cases, the photos don’t fully depict the details referred to in the text. In Sea Snakes, the text says barnacles and algae may attach to sea snakes, but it’s hard to spot either organism in the image, and they don’t appear to be on the sea snake shown. A range map and a table showing conservation status provide further information.
VERDICT Solid choices to fill subject gaps for elementary school readers.

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