As he did in Redwoods, Chin combines a thrilling imaginative journey with approachable, informative prose and naturalistic depictions of the wild. At the New York Public Library, a sandy-haired girl picks up the very book readers have in their hands, and as she reads, the library transforms into a coral reef. Completely submerged in light-infused water, the girl spies a sea turtle, witnesses the food chain in action, and observes how adaptation and cooperation enable coral reef animals’ survival. Finally, urban features rematerialize, and the girl appears dripping wet on the steps of the library. An immersive educational adventure that demonstrates both the power of reading and the wonder of nature. Ages 5–9. (Oct.)
Information and fantasy collaborate in this imaginative introduction to coral reefs.” BCCB
“Chin offers a colorful and inventive introduction to coral reefs.” School Library Journal
“Chin, who pioneered this hybrid form of straightforward nonfiction text and fanciful pictures with Redwoods (2009), offers another a statement about the power of reading for an imaginative child with this appealing introduction to a complex world.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Chin's detailed illustrations capture the dappled light of shallow water and the bright tropical colors and patterns in the featured flora and fauna…. Readers shouldn't skip the information at the back, which explains the serious problem of coral bleaching due to global warming.” Horn Book Magazine
“Chin's latest book offers a straightforward text discussing coral reefs, while the well-composed illustrations create an imaginative narrative running in parallel.” Booklist
K-Gr 3—Using a fantasy framework similar to that in Redwoods (Roaring Brook, 2009), Chin offers a colorful and inventive introduction to coral reefs. A young girl pulls a replica of this very book off the shelves in the magnificent reading room of the New York Public Library. As she becomes absorbed in it, coral starts to sprout around her and the photo realistic illustrations begin to transform into the watery world of the reef. With book still in hand, the girl observer floats through this fantastic world, which is skillfully illustrated with vivid, arresting views of the fragile habitat. Through the use of panels and changing perspectives, Chin maximizes the drama of reef life while the straightforward text packs in basic information including the structure of a reef and the concept of a food chain. Some points need further clarification and two pages of informative back matter help, offering technical diagrams describing the relationship between the algae and the corals, as well as concerns about the future of coral reefs. While not drawn to scale, the charming sketchbook- style endpapers depict an array of sea animals and corals. As her imaginative adventure ends and the smiling and slightly soggy girl slowly returns to the real world, in a satisfying final scene, she is seen sharing the book with other children on the library steps.—Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
A book on coral reefs transforms the New York Public Library into a reef for its reader as she eagerly learns about those who make and dwell in those unique ecosystems, "cities of the sea."
Chin, who pioneered this hybrid form of straightforward nonfiction text and fanciful pictures withRedwoods(2009), offers another a statement about the power of reading for an imaginative child with this appealing introduction to a complex world. He opens and closes his narrative with accurate and clearly labeled pencil sketches of a large variety of reef-dwellers. Inside, realistic watercolor images, some in panels, some in full-bleed pages and even double-page spreads, complement the text. Sharp-eyed readers will see and be able to identify the creatures (not always those in the narrative) and will enjoy the dreamlike elaboration—especially as the coral reef begins to turn back into a city complete with appropriate signage. The species shown are all found in Caribbean reefs; Chin visited one off Belize in the course of his research. The backmatter includes an afterword describing the threat to coral reefs and providing additional facts as well as selected sources.
As in his earlierRedwoods,the child reader shares her reading, passing on the book to others. Real-life readers will be eager to do the same.(Informational picture book. 5-9)