Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Weird Ocean

Weird Ocean

Kathryn Smith
Illustrator:  Robin Boutell 
Novelty Book
For ages 7 to 9
Kingfisher, 2010   ISBN: 978-0753464625

The world’s oceans are full of beautiful, scary, and downright bizarre creatures. They come in all shapes and sizes, and each one is “perfectly suited to its ocean life.” This novelty book looks at some of the animals that live in marine environments, and it also explores many other topics that are relevant to marine animals and ecosystems.

The story begins by looking at food chains and what some ocean animals eat. One interesting fact is that some of the largest animals, the whales, eat plankton, which are microscopic.

Next, the book explores “Ocean Motion!” Here readers will find out which fish species is the fastest, and how octopi move. If you imagine that all fish swim, then think again. There is actually a species of fish that hops along the seafloor. Not surprisingly, this fish is called a frogfish!

Further along in the book we find out about migrations that ocean animals make. Some animals travel long distances to find food and to go to places where they can safely give birth to their young. Turtles, salmon, whales, and fish like pilchards travel many miles across open oceans.

In another section we learn that some ocean creatures are poisonous. Some of these animals advertise the fact that they are toxic by having colorful markings. The lionfish and blue-ringed octopus both do this. Others, like the stonefish, are camouflaged so that their prey don’t see them until it is too late.

In this extraordinary book young readers will find pop-ups, flip books, tabs to pull, and many other novelty features. The book’s creators make every double page spread interesting and engaging, covering topics that highlight how fascinating ocean creatures are.