NONFICTION

Into the Deep: An Exploration of Our Oceans

Prestel. Oct. 2019. 96p. index. Tr $25. ISBN 9783791373904.
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Gr 3-6–As proven here, the deep sea can be scary and otherworldly but magical. Chapters cover topics such as the tiniest sea creatures, krill, mammals of the deep sea, and underwater gardens. The large text, white on a dark background, introduces many fascinating ocean inhabitants. The dumbo octopus, the vampire squid, and many other strange creatures come out of hiding. The anglerfish and the hairy fanfin are two of the more terrifying animals. Beginning readers will need help with the text, but they’ll be drawn in by the expertly rendered illustrations. In many pictures, the reader is looking up and observing. In one image, a school of deep-sea hatchetfish swim above the audience. In another spread, a newly dead whale descends to the bottom of the sea, its carcass creating an entire ecosystem. The work has the heft and size of a coffee table book. A few paragraphs on how the oceans are in danger and an index finish things off.
VERDICT This engaging work showcases beauty and wonder. Recommended for public and school libraries.

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