Title: What’s Down There?
Author: Dinah Moche
Pages: 64
Reading Level: 9-12
Star Rating: ★★★

The ocean. A vast reservoir of water and life. Strange life. Weirdly shaped fish and oddly colored plants. Ship wrecks. Treasure. What exactly is down there?

In What’s Down There? (aptly named, by the way), Dinah Moche invites us to explore the ocean with her – to learn about the strange creatures which live in the ocean, why the ocean has tides, and what machines we use in the ocean. Here are a few of the interesting facts contained in What’s Down There?

How many kinds of fish are there in the ocean?

There are over 20,000 different kinds of fish. They come in a great variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.

All fish are cold-blooded. Most have a skeleton made of bone. They use fins for balancing, steering, and driving themselves through the water. Many fish have a protective covering of scales. As a fish gets older, new material is added to the outer edge of each scale, forming a growth ring. By counting these rings, you can tell the age of a fish. [pg. 32]

I’ve heard of counting the rings on a tree, but never on fish.

Will people live underwater some day?

It is possible to do that now. Researchers have developed sea-floor habitats – underwater dwellings – where people can live and work in a dry environment.

The air pressure inside a habitat is kept equal to the water pressure outside. When a diver enters a habitat through the hatch, the air inside keeps the water from rushing in. Because the air pressure inside is the same as the pressure outside, a diver can change quickly from a water environment to a dry environment without suffering any ill effects. [pg. 62]

One of the opening questions concerns the formation of the oceans. The given answer is evolutionary. Also, later, oil is described as having formed several hundred million years ago.

A picture is included of a man and woman snorkeling. The picture is shadowy and doesn’t really reveal anything.

The pictures which accompany the text are very murky. Fortunately, the information can stand on its own.

Conclusion. Perhaps not the best resource on the ocean, but an interesting one.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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