Because we live above ground, we are accustomed to seeing the creatures that inhabit our “level” of the world. We can’t escape from them really. Birds, insects, squirrels – we see them everyday. But we only see undersea creatures at special times. When we go to aquariums, for example, or if there is a fish display at the dentist’s office. Because of this, undersea animals seem more, well, unknown. We’ve all seen happy dogs, but have you ever seen a happy… fish?
Anyway, Under the Sea takes many steps towards removing the “unknown” factor from the ocean, while also heightening the sense of discovery. Different types of water bodies are discussed – seas, oceans rivers – as well as the plants and animals that live in them. Also discussed are the foreign objects in the ocean – ships, submersibles, and sunken treasure.
I especially enjoyed the section on currents and tides. Several illustrations were included which showed the positioning of the earth, sun, and moon during neap and spring tides, which helped clarify why those tides occur when they do and why they have such force.
A splendid combination of life-like illustrations and actual photographs are used to make the subject matter come alive.
On the very first page, the formation of the oceans is discussed in evolutionary terms. Also, pollution and its effects are discussed on pages 54-59. It did not have a politically-motivated tone, but parents who are sensitive to the issue may wish to scan this section.
Page 54 contains a pitiful picture of a seal entangled in a fishing line. Page 25 shows an illustration of a polar bear closing in on a beluga whale – its claws are extended and fearsome mouth open, but no blood or carnage is depicted.
A section is included called “Life in the Twilight Zone” which shows pictures and illustrations of some of the really creepy-looking deep sea fish.
The reproduction cycle of fish is mentioned. It isn’t at all graphic, but biological terms are used. (pgs. 16, 18-19, & 21)
Conclusion. A good resource young students interested in the ocean.
Review © 2014 Laura Verret