Anglerfish: The Seadevil of the Deep

Candlewick. Apr. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781536213966.
Gr 2-4–If you’ve reeled in a Football Fish in Animal Crossing, you have likely been curious about this bizarre breed. The anglerfish is best distinguished by a bioluminescent orb dangling from its forehead and its very long, very sharp teeth. This book explains the life cycle, environment, and unconventional mating habits of these deep-water denizens, who spend the majority of their life in the ocean’s “midnight zone,” a place where light does not reach. Each page features clear and concise text well-placed onto the strikingly illustrated pages. The book follows one anglerfish during its life cycle. Born at the ocean’s surface, the fish dives to its deepest depths as it grows, and Fogg’s artwork beautifully illustrates each segment. The ocean’s surface is bright blue, and the bottom is pitch black, lit only by the anglerfish’s bioluminescent orb. Most pages feature full-bleed spreads, although some incorporate comic-like panels to convey action and movement. The anglerfish is drawn realistically, but with added cartoon eyes giving it the ability to emote. Because the life of an ocean creature is dangerous, that emotion is typically fear. Monkfish, jellyfish, crabs, and other sea life appear in Fogg’s friendly style. Illustrated back matter provides additional detail about all aspects of the anglerfish, such as the wild reason females can be five times as large as the males. A glossary and index are also provided.
VERDICT An appropriately in-depth look at one of Earth’s odder aquatic creatures, this book is a must-have for every nonfiction collection.

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