This week, my daughter and I have been researching marine animals. She’s mostly into the mammals, from the whales and seals and such; but the really weird-looking creatures, which she says could be monsters, also interest her. In the book Weird, Wild, and Wonderful Marine Creatures, she can get her fill of these animals in a slim but informative book.
The book is only 24 pages long, which is perfect for my six year old fledgling scientist. Within the book, you’ll find the regular sea animals that you’re used to—from sharks to sea turtles, seahorses to whales. But by page eight, you’ll start finding weird animals like moray eels, frogfish, and an anglerfish (which doesn’t look nearly as weird as the one on Finding Nemo, I must admit—though it’s still a pretty wild fish!). A photo of a sawfish particularly intrigued her, prompting her to talk about how so many animals are so different, how we all have different faces and features, and how anything could really be a monster. (She is also a bit obsessed with the Loch Ness Monster right now.) The photos are really fantastic, fairly clear and
The different ways each fish obtained their food also fascinated her. Imagining that a fish would actually use bait to catch another fish was just amazing to her, since her dad does that to catch small fish at the lake. There are a lot of small “Fact Bite” boxes to find even more interesting tidbits, too—such as that the Great White Shark has thousands of spare teeth, so when it loses one, it always grows back. She has her first loose tooth and she thinks it would be cool if she had that many spare teeth, too.
There are also plenty of great vocabulary terms in the book—but not enough for it to be considered a boring textbook. Words like hatch, predator, prey, habitat, and environment are all included and explained. The only terms my daughter didn’t yet know were stun and breed. In the back of the book you will find a glossary that will further help explain the terms, as well as a small graph depicting each creature’s special features and characteristics for a quick comparison.
Some of the wording is a bit simplistic; you may wish to skim it and share the interesting parts aloud with your child, if you prefer. My daughter loves to just stare at the pictures, and then ask me about the ones she’s really curious about. I would definitely recommend this book for any children looking for an introduction to marine creatures; it might even lead to greater interest and exploration in the future.