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2/1/07 School Library Journal
These easy readers offer a quick look at the curious lives of four sea creatures. In each title, one or two sentences of large-print text are set within a wide, colored margin at the bottom of every page; a sharp color photograph of one or more of the featured animals fills the remaining space. Each text succinctly describes its animals' natural habitat, basic anatomy, distinctive physical and behavioral characteristics, diet (except for Jellyfish), and feeding habits. Sea Horses also describes the male's unusual role of bearing the eggs his mate produces in his pouch until they hatch. Glossaries provide some additional facts as well as definitions. The full-color photographs, a few of which are spreads, complement the texts; most are detailed close-ups and some include labels with arrows indicating major body parts. Patricia Lauber's An Octopus Is Amazing (HarperCollins, 1996) and Edith Thacher Hurd's Starfish (HarperCollins, 2000) are aimed at about the same age level and include descriptions of different species and material on reproduction, which these titles omit; however, both are illustrated with paintings, not photographs. Within their limits, these four beautifully photographed, streamlined titles do a good job of covering the basics and will be useful additions to natural history collections.