Children's Literature - Nancy Garhan AtteburyIn this book from the "Spectacular Animal Town" series, lush photos in unbelievable color offer an inviting way to learn about coral reefs. The author declares on the opening page that "coral reefs are the most diverse habitats in the ocean." Pictures included in the book support his statement. There are tons of interesting facts in this book, including facts that coral polyps are related to jellyfish and anemones and that there are more than 750 "different types of reef building corals in the ocean." Controlled text, which has a grade three reading level, lets readers discover how coral reefs grow under water to produce large reef cities. Readers are sure to come away with a greater understanding of the habitat and ecosystem of the world's reefs. The last four chapters discuss the need for reefs, how fragile the reef ecosystem is, how warming waters can be a danger, and how we can protect reefs. Important words are written in bold and defined in the glossary. Additional end matter includes a page of coral reef facts, as well as, one about sea squirts and bryozoans who also build underwater towns. This well-researched book is an excellent one for expanding science lessons and social science lessons. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury
School Library JournalGr 3-6–This delightful series highlights the habitats of a variety of creatures, from tiny one-celled corals to bats, beavers, and prairie dogs. Through excellent photographs, high-interest texts, sidebars, maps, and other material, children learn about both the animals and their habitats. The species are shown not only within their own kind, but also in relation to those that share the habitat. For example, coral reefs are discussed in terms of the individual corals that make up the organism, and in relation to other animals that inhabit it and environmental situations that benefit or threaten it. Each book also provides brief profiles of animals with similar habitats. The publisher’s Web site provides links to other Web sites and activities about each animal profiled. These books are much better than average “report” titles.
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