Are Sea Monsters Real?

Penguin. (Penguin Young Readers, Level 4). Jul. 2022. 48p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780593383940; pap. $4.99. ISBN 9780593383933.
Gr 3-4–Monsters are an interesting topic for many youngsters. This leveled reader explores myths and legends from throughout history, such as Thor battling the Midgard serpent and Odysseus fighting Scylla. Images support descriptions of many sightings from across the centuries; readers can study an ancient map with sea monsters in the waves and view images of the biblical leviathan. These tales lead to the very real creatures, including giant squids, sperm whales, and orcas which may have inspired some of the legends. Photos show a megalodon’s tooth, a giant Pacific octopus, and fossils of a Basilosaurus and an Ichthyosaur. Young cryptozoologists are left to decide for themselves if ocean creatures and evidence of prehistoric life-forms have fed into the many stories in the past, or if continued interest in the Loch Ness monster and similar legends prove that sea monsters exist. A glossary, suggestions for creative writing, and comprehension questions are included.
VERDICT An engaging exploration of the topic for intermediate readers who enjoy sorting fact from fiction.

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