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Down, Down, Down in the Ocean

Down, Down, Down in the Ocean

by Sandra Markle, Bob Marstall (Illustrator)

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Describes a number of creatures that comprise a Pacific Ocean ecosystem, as found off the coast of California at three different depths--0 to 200 meters, 200 to 1000 meters, and the seafloor.


Describes a number of creatures that comprise a Pacific Ocean ecosystem, as found off the coast of California at three different depths--0 to 200 meters, 200 to 1000 meters, and the seafloor.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Headed for the seashore? Kids may relish learning more about this fascinating environment, so different from land. Sandra Markle's Down, Down, Down in the Ocean surveys the different levels of the sea, which can extend to a depth of more than 3,000 feet. Youngsters can meet the great white shark, the silver hatchet fish with lights on its belly, the huge sperm whale, and microscopic bacteria. In his illustrations Bob Marstall renders this mysterious world with accuracy and beauty. 1999, Walker. Ages 4 to 9. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum
Children's Literature - Greg M. Romaneck
A female great white shark gives birth to its pup and thus begins the cycle of life in the various depths of the ocean. The deep sea food chain is brought to life in this poignant picture book. Beginning with the minute algae that feed tiny aquatic animals, the various elements of the struggle for survival in the ocean are brought to life. The variety of life in the increasing depths of the ocean is wonderfully presented in the colorful illustrations that magnify the text. The life and death struggle of a sperm whale and a gigantic squid leaps from the pages. The unique and alien looking fish of the blackened depths are described in both word and image. Eels of strange proportions hunt tiny creatures in the ongoing process of generation and regeneration. The amazing existence of unusual life forms on the seafloor supported by a heat that is generated by lava flows is described. Finally, the baby shark that entered life at the start of the story dies and becomes an energy source for other lives while a new shark is born. This is a story linked to striking visual images and it is highly appropriate for primary grade children.
Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Beginning with the birth of a female great white shark pup close to the surface of the Pacific Ocean off the California coast, Markle escorts her readers on a descending journey into the abyss. From sunlit sea meadows bursting with life, her readable text drops to the "twilight zone," home to hatchet fish and sperm whales seeking giant squid, and then plunges through the deeper zone of gulper eels and anglerfish to the amazing microhabitat of a seafloor volcanic vent and the creatures that reside there. This absorbing verbal voyage is enriched by Marstall's dramatic double-page illustrations in a palette ranging from the subtle blues and greens of the upper ocean to the grays, charcoals, and blacks of the depths. For older readers, pair this with Deborah Kovacs and Kate Madin's Beneath Blue Waters (Viking, 1996); for younger, Joanna Cole's amusingly informative The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor (Scholastic, 1992); and for all, the remarkable photos of Norbert Wu's Life in the Oceans (Little, Brown, 1991; o.p.). Inspired by interviews with marine scientists and her own abiding love of the ocean, Markle presents a vivid impression of the undersea world. While the book contains an informative glossary/index, it is not for avid fact collectors amassing data for an assignment. Rather, it gives food to the imaginations of those who have stared at the vast, heaving surface of the ocean and wondered what exists beneath that glittering, sun-sparkled, dancing facade.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Walker & Company
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.81(w) x 11.43(h) x 0.32(d)
NC990L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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