FICTION

Don't Mess with Me: The Strange Lives of Venomous Sea Creatures

photos by Andrew Martinez. 48p. (How Nature Works). chron. further reading. glossary. Tilbury House. Dec. 2018. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780884485513. POP
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Gr 3–6–Ewww! Erickson's friendly, informative overview of venomous sea creatures, accompanied by Martinez's vivid close-ups leans heavily on the ick factor. Readers will learn about common creatures from all six phyla: protective mechanisms, scientific name, size, range, and diet. The author makes references to author Arthur Conan Doyle and venom researcher Baldamero Olivera and briefly touches on the problem of invasive species. He does not, however, discuss the effect of global climate change and warming seas—not even noting the danger of jellyfish blooms. Students seeking in-depth information on this and other topics can use the book's bibliography, which lists several reliable sources.
VERDICT An eye-catching and pleasingly gross introduction to venomous sea creatures, with extremely helpful back matter.

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