* Notable Books for Children, Smithsonian ** Outstanding Science Trade Books for ChildrenChildren’s Book Council/NSTA ** Honor Book, Society of School Librarians International * How do we learn about animals that are tiny enough to slip through the eye of a needle? Mary Cerullo’s text answers intriguing questions about these tiny ocean creatures, while Bill Curtsinger’s extraordinary photographs serve up tantalizing images of an amazing “sea soup.”What is the fastest animal in the world? What can dive as deep as a whale or make a submarine disappear in the ocean? The answer is zooplankton! The ocean is teeming with these small, drifting animals that come in all shapes ands sizes, from tiny zippy copepods to large, brilliantly colored jellyfish (that you don't want to bump into).There are some very strange zooplankton, like the arrow worm -- you can see what it had for lunch inside its stomach! Some zooplankton give off a ghostly underwater glow, and others are poisonous, like the sea wasp, a jellyfish that has killed more swimmers of Queensland in northern Australia than the great white shark.Some zooplankton are "temporary" zooplankton, drifting along on ocean currents when they are young, but turning into fish or crustaceans when they grow up and swim on their own. Other zooplankton and zooplankton all their lives -- or until they get eaten! Zooplankton are an important meal in the ocean food web. A single blue whale may devour up to eight tons of shrimp-like krill a day. That's a big serving of sea soup!Bill Curtsinger's extraordinary photography brings us right into the watery world of zooplankton, while Mary Cerullo's lively text answers our questions about these fascinating ocean creatures.
Mary Cerullo decided at thirteen that she ought to become an oceanographer. Although her career has always centered around the ocean, she discovered that she preferred exploring many different topics, which led her to teach and write about the ocean instead. She has written fourteen nonfiction books for children on ocean life. She likes to immerse herself in her topic, so a few years ago Mary accompanied Jeff on an underwater dive with ten Caribbean reef sharks. Mary's "day job" is associate director of Friends of Casco Bay, an environmental group in South Portland, Maine.
Bill Curtsinger, like many explorers before him, first traveled to Antarctica as a young sailor. He was in the Navy Combat Camera Group, assigned to photograph the work of National Science Foundation researchers. In the years since, Bill's photography has appeared in numerous books and magazines, including National Geographic, Life, Time, Newsweek, Outside, Natural History, and Smithsonian.