FICTION

This is a Seahorse

Albert Whitman. Sept. 2020. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807578605.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 2–The book opens with a photo of a chalkboard and a homework assignment to “write a report about an interesting animal from our field trip to the aquarium.” What follows are the actual pages of Cassandra’s report on the seahorse, written in childish scrawl on lined paper. A seahorse, who is featured on each page, is no inanimate illustration but instead turns out to be a very exacting critic. In fact, he is easily affronted by most of what Cassandra writes. He is horrified that this child originally thought one could ride a seahorse and is deeply insulted when she compares them to opossums, which the seahorse describes as “nasty creatures.” Things continue to deteriorate with insults flying until Cassandra reveals that the “daddies” give birth, which makes seahorses super weird, and super weird is very cool. Federman (This Is a Sea Cow) has penned another creative and thoroughly delightful tale that will be an instant hit with kids and their parents. The digitally collaged art is eye-catching and wonderfully done. There are more amazing facts on seahorses at the end including a way for readers to adopt one.
VERDICT A definite purchase for all collections; children will roar at the interactions between the seahorse and Cassandra.

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