FICTION

Catastrophe by the Sea

West Margin Pr. Sept. 2019. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781513262345.
COPY ISBN
K-Gr 3–The marine creatures living in the tide pool along the ocean’s edge are at first alarmed by the cat that has pounced his way there, a long way from home. But after a stinging confrontation between the cat and a sea anemone turns amicable, the other sea creatures extend a welcome to Catastrophe the cat as well. Catastrophe learns about the diverse lifestyles of the ocean creatures and is sad when he can’t find them after a strong and violent tide nearly washes them all away. However, Catastrophe soon learns of the amazing resilience of the sea animals and develops a strong affinity and appreciation for them as individuals. Through characters such as Buddy the barnacle and Naimonee the anemone as well as a dance troupe of crabs and a band of barnacles, young readers will learn some of the characteristics that make these creatures unique. Written by acclaimed nature writer Peterson, in partnership with the Seattle Aquarium, the uniquely creative picture book tells an adventure story that builds awareness, understanding, and empathy for a world that some may overlook or take for granted. There is a wealth of information and inspiration to learn by observing the teamwork and survival skills of the smallest of living things. Young’s distinctive collage artwork is phenomenal and adds texture and detail to the story that is integral to the moods of the book.
VERDICT A harmonious picture book that celebrates biodiversity and builds empathy.

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