A Caribbean coral reef is home to a remarkable variety of sea creatures you might meet were you to swim there.
Munro, who most recently introduced her young readers to Rodent Rascals (2018), now invites them to dive into a coral reef, like those she’s visited, to meet some of its inhabitants, shown at their actual sizes. The conceit of this catalog is clever. A labeled diagram in the backmatter reveals that this is a mural, cut up into individual spreads. One, a double gatefold, accommodates a major portion of the reef shark. Each spread includes a label or labels and paragraphs of interesting information about the major creatures shown. This may include something distinctive about its habits (spotted cleaner shrimp and yellow nose gobies eat parasites off fish without being eaten in return), its body parts (rainbow parrot fish have fused teeth that make a kind of beak to scrape algae from coral), or the way it communicates (squids and octopuses change color) or defends itself (Atlantic blue tangs and southern stingrays have barbs). Italicized words like “echinoderm” and “venomous” are defined in a glossary. These clear, well-defined paintings reveal recognizable creatures (or parts, when they are too big to fit on the spread) among colorful coral and anemones.
A fine way for budding marine biologists to get their feet wet while staying dry.(further information, resources, glossary, index, map) (Informational picture book. 6-10)