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Children's LiteratureHow many times have you watched a nature program about sea turtles and viewed hundreds of turtle hatchlings marching smartly from their nests on the beach to the sea? Background music is lively, the babies are cute and all seem right with the natural world. Appealing as they are, hatchlings are only the beginning. This book tells the hatchling's story in a more realistic light. Starting with a mother sea turtle swimming to the beach where she hatched to lay eggs of her own, the well-researched text points out almost insurmountable hazards. Animals such as raccoons dig up and eat the eggs. The beach the hatchlings must cross is dangerous: ghost crabs and sea birds catch and eat many. Once the turtles reach the sea, predators reduce the number of survivors. The book ends on a somewhat hopeful note, showing a solitary hatchling swimming into the sunset toward the deep ocean. While the sea turtle expert I checked with stated that only one hatchling making it out to sea is probably less than the norm, the point of the book is well-taken: sea turtles face amazing odds beginning with the comical scramble from nest to waves. Illustrations are breathtaking, text is finely written, especially the "About Sea Turtles" at the back of the book accompanied by drawings of the different sea turtles. The suggested reading list is impressive, including Archie Carr's So Excellent a Fish—A Natural History of Sea Turtles, considered by most marine scientists to be the definitive classic work on these ocean-dwelling reptiles. 2005, Boyds Mill Press, Ages 8 to 12.