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Children's LiteratureAnyone wishing to teach young readers the wondrously colorful and varied world of coral may want to start with this title, part of the "Creatures of the Sea" series. Debunking the common misunderstanding that coral is some sort of rock, the author begins with the invertebrates, or corals, themselves: where they are found in the world's oceans, what soft or hard coral bodies are like, and how some corals build colonies—the coral reefs with which we are fascinated today. A colorful and simple drawing of the anatomy of a coral accompanies this information. The author goes on to explain the life cycle of coral, how it may reproduce by spawning or budding and how the new corals settle onto the sea floor. The text includes how corals catch prey for food, how they grow in different ways and how they avoid becoming prey themselves. A final chapter explains where coral reefs are found, the different kinds of coral reefs, plus the grim fact that some coral reefs may be threatened by human or natural causes. Photo illustrations of these aptly-named "rainforests of the deep" are breathtaking. A bibliography listing books, periodicals and web sites, and a glossary and an index are included. 2005, Thomson Gale, Ages 8 to 12.