Extremely Weird Fishesby Sarah Lovett
Provides physical descriptions and discusses the habits of such unusual fishes as the mudskipper, longnosed batfish, burrfish, and spotted wobbegong.
School Library JournalGr 4-6-- A survey of unusual fishes that serves up some titilating tidbits of information. Double-page treatments cover 21 different species, offering a brief description of the outstanding physical characteristics or habits that make each unique and a sharp, full-page, color photo. In most cases only the face of the fish is visible. The majority of the species are found in tropical waters, but some cold water creatures are included. All are identified by scientific as well as common names. Blocks of small print present miscellaneous ichthyological facts, accompanied by one or two small cartoons. A larger cartoon also appears under the main text, as well as a straightforward color drawing at the top of the page. Although these drawings do not match the quality of the photos--some are tinged with anthropomorphism--they do show the fish's body shape in toto. While most of the text is clearly written and provides some fascinating trivia, some sections are marred by a misplaced jocularity that tends to obfuscate rather than clarify. Some phrases are sheer nonsense and add nothing to readers' understanding. While most scientific terms are defined in the text or in the glossary, some are not. Some sections give the geographic range of the fishes described, as well as their average size; others fail to do so. Parker's Fish (McKay, 1990) includes much of the same information, but does not provide as much detail on the characteristics of individual species and lacks the amazing closeups. --Karey Wehner, San Francisco Public Library
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