NONFICTION
Captain Aquatica’s Awesome Ocean
National Geographic Kids. (Science Superheroes). Jun. 2019. 128p. glossary. index. maps. photos. resources. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781426332920.
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Gr 3-6–The third installment in this series gives readers a mash-up of a textbook and graphic novel that focuses on the ocean and its wildlife. Cramp introduces readers to the Cook Islands, where sharks can easily be found. To understand sharks, though, readers must first understand the ocean, ecosystems, and how humans have affected the sea. The book concludes with how readers can help preserve, protect, and advocate to keep the ocean clean and wildlife safe. Before each chapter of informational text is a snapshot of Captain Aquatica and her friend, Finn, the hammerhead shark, showing readers the secrets and adventures of the ocean in cartoon graphics. The colorful, high-resolution photographs pair nicely with the comic sections, complementing the ocean design that frames each page in blues and purples representing the surface and the bottom of the sea. The text also includes photo captions, diverse scientist profiles, interesting facts, and fun science activities. The table of contents and introduction bookend with the back matter, which contains an afterword, glossary, index, image credits, resources, and acknowledgments (called “credits” in the table of contents). Although the amount of information and the textbook style could be intimidating to young readers, the book can suit a wide range of audiences.
VERDICT Readers obsessed with sharks and marine wildlife will especially enjoy reading with Captain Aquatica. Teachers and librarians may want to create lessons or programs based on the activities presented throughout the book

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