The Strangest Thing in the Sea: And Other Curious Creatures of the Deep

Kids Can. Oct. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781771389181.
Gr 2-4–Twelve astoundingly strange sea creatures are featured in this quirky picture book. Each is introduced with a first-person riddlelike statement about its appearance, followed by a fanciful version of the creature described. These versions are sometimes based on mythology—like the Hairy Frog Fish, compared to a witchlike figure, and the vampire squid, compared to a vampire—or are just plain silly, which kids will enjoy. These are accompanied by the question: “Am I the strangest thing in the sea?” A gatefold reveals a more realistic illustration of the creature in its habitat, along with the response, no, this is not the strangest thing in the sea. Statistics are shared: size, prey, habitat, and depth. Poliquin explains how their physical and special features help the creatures survive. After all of the amazing facts are told from the creatures’ perspective, readers are left to ponder: What could possibly top all of them? Kids will be anxious to find out. A murky palette of blues, greens, and browns reflect the ocean setting, but pops of yellow and pink add just the right amount of interest. Back matter consists of a visual summary of the contents and a glossary.
VERDICT A highly recommended, engaging, and accessible title that entertains and informs.

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