The Dark!: Wild Life in the ­Mysterious World of Caves

Penguin Workshop. Jul. 2024. 96p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780593662595.
Gr 3-7–Strap on your headlamp and dive into The Dark to learn about caves and the animals that live in them. With a clear introduction of what a cave is, this well-organized, nonfiction comic book digs into the types of animals that call caves home, full- and part-time. Creepy crawlies that kids love are explored, including threatened and endangered species such as salamanders, various fish, bats, and all sorts of insects—even humans are covered! The author illuminates various animal adaptations in interesting ways that will capture readers’ attentions. Also highlighted are unique caves of the world, the importance of caves to humans throughout history, and cave conservation. The author did a wonderful job creating eye-catching, clear cartoon illustrations with text placed thoughtfully on the page to highlight the fascinating animals. Pronunciation guides and definitions throughout clarify new ideas and vocabulary. Animals are given quirky personalities with conversation bubbles, adding humor to keep readers interested.
VERDICT With its compelling layout and interesting facts, this is an engaging book.

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