Picture Book of the Week, no. 2
June 24, 2005
Hello, Fish! Visiting the Coral Reef is a grand guide, with jaunty, informational text by the marine biologist Sylvia A. Earle and beautiful full-page photographs by Wolcott Henry. Earle's book would be a fine companion for the movie "Finding Nemo"; it even features a clown fish in an anemone on the front cover. (Our local aquarium jumped on the bandwagon, and now has a tank full of Nemos, Marlins, and Dorys.)
I have only the tiniest quibble with the text. The use of first-person narration occasionally clanks. "Who's the 'I'?" I wondered when we first read the book, which is published by the National Geographic Society. But that's a minor flaw in an otherwise super work of non-fiction. "It's a true story," as my son would remind me. Hello, Fish! received an "outstanding" nod from the National Science Teachers Assocation in 2000. Recommended ages are 3 to 7; you can shorten the text if you need to when reading aloud to the little ones.
For Dr. Sylvia Earle's favorite web sites, check here.
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