Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Life in a Tide Pool

Life in a Tide Pool

Janet Halfman
For ages 9 to 12
The Creative Company, 2001   ISBN: 978-1583410769

If you have ever been to the seashore or the beach it is very likely that you have noticed the way in which the tide in comes and goes out at certain times of day. What is wonderful about this process is that in some places the water that comes in feeds little pools along the shore called tide pools. These pools are fascinating microhabitats that are packed with life.

Because conditions in these little pools vary enormously the animals and plants that live in them have to be able to adapt. Sometimes the water is very salty and sometimes it is not – after a rainfall for example. Sometimes the water is very warm and sometimes it is cold. Tide pools are places of great change. Some animals get around the problem by coming and going with the tide, others adjust their behavior and bodies as needed.

As you look down into a tide pool you are going to see all kinds of creatures going about their business. There are little periwinkles and limpets grazing on rocks, their raspy tongue scraping algae off the surfaces that they glide over. There are sea urchins, their poisonous spines and tube feet propelling them along. Sea stars amble along looking for a mollusk to prey on and crabs of all kinds scuttle about hiding under shells and rocks.

These colorful miniature worlds are often incredibly beautiful with their delicate looking sea anemones, tiny little fish darting about, and secrets hidden in every crevice and shadow. With this book to help them, young readers will find that they are fascinating places to explore. The author describes with great care the major animal groups that one is likely to see in such pools, and gorgeous photographs capture the stunning beauty of the creatures that live in tide pools around the world.

At the back of the book the author provides her readers with a number of activities to try. The first gives readers instructions on how to make a tide pool viewer. The second activity shows readers what shell is made of, and the third explores how salt water affects the ability of objects to float.

This is one of the titles in the "Lifeviews" series.