Few beach vacationers can resist picking up sea shells that waves have washed onto the sand. These shells often make their way to home collections or show and tell at school. Whatever age, the beachcomber cannot help but wonder what critter lived in the shell, how it ate and traveled or if the shell grew with it. This lovely book, part of the "About" series, shows mollusks in their natural habitats and tells the very young reader all about them, whether they are marine or fresh water mollusks. Mollusks which do not have shellssuch as octopuses, nudibranchs (sea slugs), garden slugs and squid, and mollusks that doconchs, welks, snailsare all covered. The beauty of this book is that it can be read to children who are not yet reading; a quality book for preschool or kindergarten is rare. At the same time, the book does not talk down to its audience. Animals are identified with common names. More information about each remarkably- illustrated mollusk is at the back of this well-written, beautifully illustrated, and well-planned book. Children (or teachers or parents) can gain as much information as they desire and children will enjoy the book as they grow. This particular book is so fine it makes me want to see the rest of the series. What a wonderful tool to use while looking over that seashell collection or aquarium exhibit. The book includes a bibliography and a list of websites. 2005, Peachtree Publishers, Ages 3 to 8.
K-Gr 2-This attractive title consists mainly of large, realistic watercolors, each accompanied by a sentence or two of simply written text. It concludes with a sort of field guide with extra data on the featured creatures. (A single carp-the Hopkins' Rose is not identified as a sea slug until the afterword.) Less detailed than Beth Blaxland's busy Mollusks: Snails, Clams, and Their Relatives (Chelsea House, 2003), and simpler than Joy Richardson's Mollusks (Watts, 1993), this handsome look at a cast of lowly characters is a rewarding slice of the biodiversity pie.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
The latest in the About . . . series casts the spotlight on an often-overlooked group-the mollusks. This beginner's guide teaches readers in small, digestible bits, giving one to two sentences of facts per page in simple language. Sill presents the basic facts-mollusks have soft bodies with no bones and grow from eggs-but she also makes the diversity of the group apparent. Some have shells, some are shell-less; some live on land, most in the water; some are predators, while some eat vegetation. The author's afterword is a wonderful resource, showing a thumbnail of each illustration, fleshing out the fact given on the page, and giving more information about the featured mollusk. Don't skip this-it gives some of the work's most interesting facts. For instance, "Common Violet Snails blow bubbles that harden and make a raft." They can then ride the raft on the ocean surface and find food. Vibrant watercolor illustrations vividly portray the colors and textures of the animals and their habitats and are a good mix of commonly known and unusual mollusks. A good beginning text about this unique group. (bibliography, Web sites) (Nonfiction. 3-7)