Monday 16 August 2010

Into the Deep: Life through the Depths of the Ocean

Into the Deep: Life through the Depths of the Ocean by Mark Norman and David Paul (black dog books)
PB RRP$16.99
ISBN 9781742031514
Reviewed by Di Bates

A follow-up title to Poles Apart: Life at the ends of the earth, this 32 page book to suit ages 7 years plus, fits into the primary school curriculum, with teachers’ notes promised by the publisher. The award-winning author is passionate about educating children about the environment, as evident by this and his other books.

The book is beautifully photographed and designed and has immediate impact and appeal. The text begins by stating that most of our planet is covered by oceans and most of these are very deep, particularly the Challenger Deep in the North Pacific Ocean. The pressure in the Deep is ‘the same as about 50 elephants piled up on your head’: such sentences with child-appeal are found throughout the book.

The story of in the Deep starts with general facts, then moves to the more specific, from Hanging at the Top (animals such as bluebottle jellyfish and water striders) which live by clinging to the surface of the water, to animals near the surface (sailfish and dolphins), and then animals which live deeper down. As the child reader explores the levels of the ocean, they are presented with brilliantly coloured photographs of sea dwellers as well as digestible, bite-sized chunks of information. Did you know, for example, that some octopuses spend their whole lives swimming, never touching the seafloor? That a male blanket octopus is so tiny is would fit inside a female blanket octopus’s eye? Then there’s the gruesome aspects of life in the Deep – where creatures such as ugly lizardfish and the scary, pencil-length viperfish have sharp teeth for gobbling up prey.

Every page of this fascinating and easy to read book is a visual feast, plus there’s information which is so interesting that a child will want to immediately repeat it to his mates, his teachers, his parents. In keeping with the sense of darkness in the Deep, most of the pages with their striking photographs are black with white and coloured typeface. There’s also a glossary, an index and a list of further resources. Don’t be surprised if this book wins awards – it will certainly win a lot of young fans!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Buzz Words Books would love to hear what you think.