Aquarium: Bringing the Seas Inside

Aquarium: Bringing the Seas Inside

by Linda Capus Riley

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 3-4-It takes a while to realize what this book is all about-the building and stocking of the Thomas H. Kean New Jersey State Aquarium at Camden. The text begins with a description of underwater life off the East Coast of the United States and then wanders off to discuss how much a new aquarium costs. Riley uses language and comparisons that will mean little if anything to children, e.g., the process of determining which animals were to be included is described as being ``...every bit as complicated as deciding whom to invite to a wedding and where to seat the guests.'' Although interesting details on catching the ocean creatures and readying the aquarium are included, the narrative is choppy and unfocused. The illustrations are amateurish; cutout photographs of people and marine animals are superimposed on color backgrounds or simply stuck on the page. In addition, full-color photographs of individuals working on various phases of the project are sprinkled throughout. A sense of urgency is conveyed by the use of dates and times as opening day draws near. However, the book lacks direction and seems to float back and forth among activities instead of moving ahead toward completion.-Frances E. Millhouser, Reston Regional Library, VA
Carolyn Phelan
Riley conducts a backstage tour of the building of a new public aquarium (evidently the New Jersey State Aquarium) and shows its new residents being caught, transported, housed, fed, trained, doctored, and cared for. The last chapter covers opening day from the visitors' point of view. Kids will pick up intriguing tidbits of information about sharks, octopuses, seals, lobsters, skates, corals, and their undersea neighbors as they read about broader subjects, such as how to build a 760,000-gallon concrete tank, fill it with salt water, stock it with sea creatures, and create an environment that demonstrates more than the food chain. The many full-color photographs provide clear views of activities at sea, on the construction site, and in the finished building, though the addition of an oceanic border in pastels at the bottom of each page detracts from the overall effect. A fine choice for teachers planning class trips and for the kids who visit the aquariums.

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Product Details

Freeman, W. H. & Company
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.36(w) x 10.29(h) x 0.51(d)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

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