Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Wild Oceans

Wild Oceans

Lucio and Meera Santoro
Novelty Book
For ages 8 and up
Simon and Schuster, 2010   ISBN: 978-1416984672

Just like on land, the ocean has many ecosystems, all of which are full of living things that are perfectly adapted to the habitat that they live in. Each of these ecosystems, or “oceanic zones,” is affected by different forces, and all of them are fascinating.

We begin our journey by looking at tidal areas where the level of water ebbs and flows. Here animals have to be able to cope with “sun, wind, and waves.” The creatures who live in tide pools have adapted to these adverse conditions in many ways. Some stay safe by having shells to protect them. Some cling onto the rocks so that they cannot be washed away, while others “are bendable and flex with the waves.”

Next we head out into the open sea. We often don’t see the creatures that live here but they are all around us. Tiny phytoplankton float near the surface, while larger fish and mammals such as whales, swim far below.

For each of the four oceanic zones that are explored in this book, the authors have created a dazzling central pop-up that has moving parts. These pop-ups are integrated into the art on the spread. There is a section of text on each spread that describes each oceanic zone in general. A small secondary page in the corner of each spread opens up to reveal a smaller pop-up where readers will find more information about the ecosystem. Each spread also has a pull out that reveals an illustrated section of text that describes survival skills that marine animals have. The skills explored include symbiosis and bioluminescence. Some of the animals shown in the illustrations and pop-ups are annotated with short sections of text.

This book is a must for anyone who has an interest in marine ecosystems, and for anyone who likes pop-up books. The swinging moving parts within the pop-ups are a quite extraordinary, and the authors have managed to pack a great deal of information into the four double page spreads.