Life in a Coral Reef (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2 Series)

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Ages: 5 - 9

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
Pfeffer and Jenkins study of the formation and life of a coral reef is a fine example of how highly engaging informational picture books can be. On each page, Pfeffer's text offers a short paragraph of information about different kinds of coral or about other forms of marine life that live on the reef. She chooses forms that are sure to fascinate, such as the puffer fish or the flashlight fish. Her prose is clear and written at a level accessible to developing readers. But it is Steve Jenkins' illustrations that bring the science content to life. Even struggling readers will be able to extract a great deal of solid information by studying them. Jenkins uses his signature collages that depict the creatures in a highly naturalistic style. Yet they do include whimsical touches, such as the bits of print that show the camouflage used by the decorator crab. This is an excellent and inexpensive addition for home and classroom libraries. "Let's Read and Find Out Science: Stage 2." Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—The span of activities occurring in a reef is seamlessly presented in a "day in the life of" picture-book format. Each easy-to-read sentence is packed with information. Like the text, the paper-cutout illustrations combine simplicity and sophistication. Utterly gorgeous, they amplify the material presented on every page. Vibrant reds, purples, golds, and black and white pop off the page. A lime green moray eel glides across a spread as it stalks fish in the dark by smell. Why does it ignore a sleeping parrot fish?, the narrative asks. Readers see a muted blue fish on the page next to the eel and learn that it oozes out a filmy body covering that disguises its color and masks its odor while it sleeps. The book concludes with two pages of facts about coral reefs, a list of famous reefs, and the current and future threats to these endangered habitats. The endpapers silhouetting the reef animals in shades of blue and black are inviting and haunting at the same time. Outstanding.—Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
Kirkus Reviews
This colorful entry in the long-running Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series introduces the world of coral reefs with simple concepts and Jenkins's signature collage illustrations. Nicely contrasting the large size of one example, Australia's Great Barrier Reef, with the tiny coral polyps that comprise its bulk, Pfeffer goes on to describe polyp reproduction and a variety of sea creatures found in this habitat. With no more than a short paragraph or two per page, her text should be well within the capabilities of early elementary-school readers, although they may need some vocabulary help. The series's landscape format is particularly well suited to the underwater scenes, in which even the background blues vary and the layers of cut and torn textured papers add depth. Would-be divers will enjoy identifying the silhouettes on the end papers: snappers and four-eyed butterfly fish, a shark and flashlight fish, all identified in the text (but they may wonder about the Moorish Idol, which appears nameless on the endpapers and in an early illustration). Two "Find Out More" pages conclude this attractive presentation. (Informational picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064452229
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Series: Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science Series: Stage 2
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 241,989
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Wendy Pfeffer is the author of several titles in the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series, including From Tadpole to Frog, What's It Like to Be a Fish?, From Seed to Pumpkin, Sounds All Around, Wiggling Worms at Work, Dolphin Talk, and Life in a Coral Reef. She lives in Pennington, New Jersey.

Steve Jenkins received a Caldecott Honor for What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? He has written and illustrated Almost Gone and illustrated Bugs Are Insects and Wiggling Worms at Work in the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 10, 2010

    A book you must have.

    If your children like the water or are curious and ready to learn, this book is a must for your home. The pictures are gorgeous and hold the children's attention.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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