Mister Seahorse

Book review by
Marigny Dupuy, Common Sense Media
Mister Seahorse Book Poster Image
Mr. Seahorse greets other fish fathers.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book is a nice tribute to the important roles that fathers in the natural world play in their progeny's lives.

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What's the story?

After Mrs. Seahorse deposits her eggs into the pouch on Mr. Seahorse's belly, he floats through the water and notices many other fish fathers who are also caring for eggs and baby fish. They include Mr. Stickleback who is guarding the eggs in his nest, Mr. Kurtus who carries the eggs on his head, and Mr. Tilapia who keeps the eggs snug in his mouth. Along the way, Mr. Seahorse sees several other kinds of fish. Among them are trumpet fish, lionfish, leaf fish, stonefish, pipe fish, and bullheads.

Is it any good?

This title by Eric Carle is a nice combination of scientific fact and storytelling fantasy. Using his signature colored tissue paper collage technique, his sea creatures shimmer in rainbows of color. At the same time they look enough like their real counterparts to be instantly recognizable.

While the writing and dialogue are a bit bland and literal, the beauty of the illustrations and the interesting concept and design of the book make it worthwhile. In addition to the collage artwork, there are transparent pages that hide the upcoming fish behind colorful seaweed, coral, and reeds. When the transparent page is turned, Mr. Seahorse is then hidden behind the natural cover. This offers an interesting look at point of view in addition to the fathering message in the story.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about fathers. What roles do they traditionally fill? How is that different in the seahorse world? Do you know any nontraditional human fathers?

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