________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number . . . .September 25, 2015


Be A Beach Detective: Solving the Mysteries of Sea, Sand and Surf.

Peggy Kochanoff.
Halifax, NS: Nimbus, 2015.
40 pp., pbk., $14.95.
ISBN 978-1-77108-267-9.

Subject Headings:
Seashore biology-Juvenile literature.
Seashore-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2-6 / Ages 7-11.

Review by Linda Ludke.

***½ /4


“Why does water squirt up as you walk along the beach? Hmmm … Let’s look closely and find out.

Living under the wet sand or mud are clams. They have tubes (siphons) that suck in water that is filtered in their gills for food and oxygen. Another siphon sends the used water out. When clams feel the vibration of your feet, they pull these tubes inside their shells. This causes any water in the siphons to squirt out. Then they close their two shell parts and retreat more deeply to escape into the sand.


Biologist Peggy Kochanoff explores the natural wonders of the ocean world in this information-packed nonfiction book. Topics covered include sea urchins, hermit crabs, anemones, oysters, barnacles and clams. Following the same format as her previous book, Be a Wilderness Detective, each chapter answers a question that is posed in child-friendly language: “How can seaweeds have flowers and seeds when they grow in the water?” The clearly written explanations that follow have an equally engaging conversational tone.

     This inquiry-based approach to science, with its refrain of “Hmmm … Let’s look closely and find out”, piques readers’ curiosity and encourages attention to detail. Care and respect for the environment are also modelled with statements such as, “Please put live things back where you found them.”

     Kochanoff’s realistic watercolour illustrations provide an up-close, magnified view of sights, such as the tiny pincers that cover a starfish, the mouth of a sand dollar, and the stinging cells on moon jellyfish. Pictures and diagrams are clearly labelled and enhance the information presented in the text. New vocabulary is highlighted in bold letters, and a glossary at the end of the book provides further definitions.

     Whether used as an outdoor guidebook or a classroom resource, Be a Beach Detective offers many enjoyable discoveries.

Highly Recommended.

Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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