Friday, January 28, 2011

Ocean Commotion: Life on the Reef

by Janeen Mason
Pelican Publishing, 2010. Nonfiction picture book.

This book tells the story of a hermit crab who wakes up to find that she has almost doubled in size during the night, and her shell is now way too tight. As she searches for a new shell to call home, she runs across a variety of reef animals and fish. The hermit crab first finds a glass jar that seems as if it will work, but it soon breaks against an abandoned boat anchor. She then goes through several adventures until she finds a suitable shell.

The illustrations are bright, colorful and beautiful, and at first glance Life on the Reef could easily be mistaken for a picture book, however, it is in the nonfiction section. Throughout the text are bolded words that are defined in an illustrated glossary, and the author includes quotes from oceanographers and a letter from herself to the reader on coral bleaching and ocean acidification. A very fun read read with a bit of ecology thrown in as a bonus. Janeen Mason also wrote Ocean Commotion: Sea Turtles.

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