Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Ocean Life

Ocean Life

Jill McDonald
Board Book
For ages 3 to 5
Penguin Random House, 2019   ISBN: 978-0525578772

When you look at the ocean from the land, or from the rolling deck of a boat or ship, it is easy to forget that beneath the waves there is a whole world waiting, a world full of living things

In this board book the author takes us for a dive underwater so that we can get to meet some of the marvelous and even bizarre creatures that live there.

The first animals we encounter are a pair of whales. We are told that whales are “giants of the ocean.” In fact, blue whales can be as long as two school buses. The interesting thing about whales is that though they have fins and a tail, like fish, they cannot breathe under water. Instead, they breathe air through their blowholes.

Next we see another mammal that looks like a fish. Here are the dolphins, the tricksters of the ocean world. They are “smart and playful” and can ‘talk’ to each other using squawking and clicking sounds.

The next animals we meet are fishes. Sharks have lots of teeth and if they lose a tooth “another one quickly grows in,” which is pretty handy when you are a hunter.

We go on to ‘meet’ an octopus, various kinds of animals that live in shells, sea horses, crabs and lobsters, sea turtles, tropical fish, and jellyfish. The narrative ends with a scene that brings together all the characters that we have met on the pages.

Throughout this book, colorful multimedia art is paired with interesting facts about ocean creatures, some of which will astonish young children.