FICTION

How Deep Is the Ocean?

How Deep Is the Ocean? illus. by Eric Puybaret. 3rd ed. 40p. (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2). chart. glossary. websites. HarperCollins. Jul. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062328205.
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K-Gr 3—This informative and richly illustrated volume brings to life the awe-inspiring vastness of the oceans. Readers follow a boy and girl as they venture from the shore's edge into the sea's sunlight zone (using scuba gear) to learn about phytoplankton and photosynthesis. The pair descend via a submersible into the twilight, the midnight, the abyssal, and, finally, the seldom-seen Hadal zone inside the Mariana Trench (nearly seven miles deep). At each level, the text describes how the children feel (the water pressure increasing as they scuba dive down to 100 feet) and what they see (meticulously labeled specimens, such as the sperm whale, the pink vent eelpout, the strawberry squid, and the tripod fish). Puybaret's illustrations, painted in vivid acrylics, are superbly detailed and visually intriguing. The artwork is so precise that detail-oriented viewers won't miss photographs. Math lovers will appreciate the mention of sizes and depths interspersed throughout the text. An ocean depth chart, graphs, suggested experiments, and a list of Internet resources for further study address multiple learning styles while facilitating expanded exploration of the topic. Kids will build vocabulary with terms such as bioluminescence, hydrothermal vents, and chemosynthesis.
VERDICT This selection does not sacrifice appeal for information; a good addition for all science collections.

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