The Sea Hides a Seahorse

Collective Book Studio. Apr. 2024. 40p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781685556440.
PreS-Gr 3–Lacking teeth, sizable fins, and scales, the seahorse is an aquatic anomaly that defies the rule book of ocean-dwelling fish. The unusual locomotion, courtship rituals, and body shape of the seahorse and its even showier relative, the sea dragon, merit further exploration. In order to stay safe, the seahorse has to blend in, so it relies on its unique camouflaging abilities, such as clinging with a prehensile tail and changing colors to avoid being someone’s snack. As the seahorses of this story keep a low profile from such perils as tuna, crab, and sea turtles, readers learn about seahorse varieties and life cycles. Clued in by the refrain “And the sea hides a seahorse,” children will quickly realize that the illustration’s hidden seahorse is the star of the following page. The collage effect of the digital illustrations is a smart choice to convey the translucency and playful light of underwater scenery, and the back matter gives more thorough explorations of seahorse behavior and preservation.
VERDICT With its playful seek-and-find illustrations and fascinating facts, this saltwater standout will have librarians, parents, and mini marine biologists hooked. An excellent work of narrative nonfiction for young readers.

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