Sea Critters

Overview

Beginning readers encounter a fascinating array of sea "critters" representing the major categories of life on Earth. Children will meet a gigantic barrel sponge, eerie looking nudibranches, and a tentacled cuttlefish. They observe sea squirts, moray eels, and a human diver. The stunning full-color photos, art, maps and simple text will spark curiosity and appeal to a child's sense of wonder.

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Overview

Beginning readers encounter a fascinating array of sea "critters" representing the major categories of life on Earth. Children will meet a gigantic barrel sponge, eerie looking nudibranches, and a tentacled cuttlefish. They observe sea squirts, moray eels, and a human diver. The stunning full-color photos, art, maps and simple text will spark curiosity and appeal to a child's sense of wonder.

Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children (NSTA/CBC)

"A lovely, browsable introduction to … animals that live in the ocean …. The photographs throughout are stunning and engaging …." —School Library Journal

Examines a variety of animals found in the sea, including jellyfish, worms, scallops, and squids.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Terrific photographs along with a few watercolor and colored pencil illustrations represent seven family categories of underwater life. Of the over 30 divisions of animal life, most can be found in the sea and Earle conveys some of the marvels of each division. Porifera, or sponges, can be tiny or big enough to sit in; worms can be flat, long, or lacy and grow to six feet tall. The Christmas Tree worm looks in the photograph uncannily like a shopping mall tree in red and white. The pictures lack any kind of scale, forcing the viewer to concentrate instead on the marvelous shapes, colors, and variety in each category. A double page on echinoderms shows a starfish positioned to give a clam some trouble, a small purple sea urchin, and a brittle star, all of which eat from a stomach located in the center where the five tentacles join. Also discussed are cnidaria, mollusks and some minor groups. Chordates get the most page space even though Earle points out that the arthropod division, which includes insects, has more known species than any other. A "Sea Critters's Family Tree" outlines in pictures and text several examples in eight categories. This concept book, while not as actively involving as a DK book about ocean animals, does a good job of introducing children to the wonders of the ocean world and the ways scientists categorize them. 2000, National Geographic, Ages 6 to 9, $16.95. Reviewer: Susan Hepler
From The Critics
Breathtaking underwater photographs accompany this educational and fun text on sea critters that children love. A "super winner," this book has great diagrams, kid-friendly language, and even a sea critter's family tree page. It also includes a note to parents and teachers. This is a great guide for schools and for homeschooling. 2000, National Geographic Society, $16.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: N. Boyd SOURCE: Parent Council, September 2001 (Vol. 9, No. 1)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-A lovely, browsable introduction to some of the groupings of animals that live in the ocean. It employs a double-page format with a full-color photograph of one or more representatives facing a page of explanatory text and full-color drawings. The groupings describe key elements that clarify the relationships. For example, jellyfish, corals, and anemones are grouped together as "The Stingers." The casual language used throughout the narrative creates a sense of informality, e.g., "Some [squid]-can signal pals-." Unfortunately, there is no pronunciation help provided for many of the terms used. This is particularly frustrating in the jellyfish entry as Cnidaria sounds completely different from the way it looks. The photographs throughout are stunning and engaging, from the explosion of shades of yellow of the gold cup coral and the brilliant burgundy of the frilly Christmas-tree worms, to the in-your-face close-up of the hermit crab.- Frances E. Millhouser, Chantilly Regional Library, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Kirkus Reviews
A marine biologist takes the reader on a tour of eight of nearly thirty divisions of the animal kingdom that live in the sea, including Porifera (sponges); Cnidaria (jellyfish and coral); Worms, Mollusks (Octopus, Squid, and Nudibranch); Arthropods (crabs and shrimp); Minor Groups (comb jelllies); Echinoderms (sand dollars and star fish); and Chordates (sea squirts, sharks, penguins, people). The general characteristics and some special features of each group are described in the lively and informative text, which clearly conveys the author's appreciation of the creatures she describes. Each double page shows an unusual marine animal in vivid color. And what colors! The shy cuttlefish is an iridescent neon blue; a tiny white shrimp has deep purple spots, while a yellow orange cup coral glows like a jewel, and a red hermit crab flashes vivid blue eyes. Though scientific names are not given, nor is information on size or range, this title provides spectacular photographs, an appreciation of the diversity of sea creatures, and a helpful chart of how the animals described are classified. Another fine underwater adventure by the author of such works as Hello Fish (1999) and Dive! Exploring the Deep Frontier (1999). (Nonfiction. 6-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792271819
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: IG960L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.48 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Sylvia A. Earle is a marine biologist, author, lecturer, ocean explorer, and a National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence since 1998. Dr. Earle is a foremost leader in her field. She has a B.S. from Florida State University and a Ph.D. from Duke University. She has published several books with National Geographic and has written extensively for National Geographic. Dr. Earle lives in Oakland, California.
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