CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number . . . .September 25, 2015
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.
Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.
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