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Parents' Guide to

Sea Horse: The Shyest Fish in the Sea

By Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Kids will dive into this secret undersea world.

Sea Horse: The Shyest Fish in the Sea Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Together, the book's blue printed text and sensitive illustrations will pull any reader into the amazing world of what looks like a part-horse, part-dragon creature. Different print sizes play together to unfold the intricate life story of the Barbour's sea horse, a tale that's factual and intriguing. Illustrations that almost seem too muted add to the undersea reality. Vinyl engravings, watercolor washes, and printed wood textures done in brownish tones of blue, green, and orange were created by John Lawrence, who also illustrated This Little Chick, one New York Times' Best Illustrated Children's Books of the Year.

Unusual in a children's book, pages here are numbered, and the text is followed by a short index to help the reader find out about specific "sea horse things" that may be of particular interest. And, though this book by Chris Butterworth focuses on just one type of sea horse, drawings on the inside covers picture and identify 10 other leading species. This is a wonderful example of a nonfiction story told in an entertaining and artistic way, and for preschoolers and kindergartners it's a perfect introduction to research reading.

Book Details

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