Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 7 to 10
- Grade: 2 to 5
- Reading age: 7 to 10
An intriguing look at some very strange creatures in the sea --- but which is the strangest?
A feathery tutu dancing through the water? A tiptoeing rock wearing a wig? A mountain of skulls on the ocean floor? Not everything is quite as it seems in this fascinating exploration of 12 bizarre and little-known sea animals. Each creature is introduced with an imaginative first-person depiction of its appearance, accompanied by an artistic interpretation and the question, “Am I the strangest thing in the sea?” Then, open the gatefold, and an illustration and full description of the actual creature in its habitat are revealed, along with the tantalizing answer that, no, this is not the strangest thing in the sea. That is, until the last creature, which is the strangest. But what could it be?
The question-and-answer approach and gatefolds in this innovative and engaging book of wonderfully weird sea creatures are sure to pique children's curiosity and encourage scientific inquiry. Rachel Poliquin has included a range of the very oddest sea creatures --- the yeti crab, goblin shark and vampire squid, to name a few --- and she provides unique, interesting and quirky information about each as well as their size, prey, habitat and depth. Award-winning illustrator Byron Eggenschwiler's beautiful art gives the entire book an otherworldly feel, as all the creatures seem to be fantastically imagined. The material aligns with elementary life sciences curriculum: animal adaptations and characteristics, evolution, ecology, habitats, ecosystems, biodiversity and food webs. A final gatefold shows all the creatures together. Includes a glossary.
About the authors
Rachel Poliquin is a writer and curator engaged with the cultural and poetic history of the natural world. She has curated taxidermy exhibits for the Museum of Vancouver and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia. Poliquin is the author of www.ravishingbeasts.com, a website dedicated to exploring the cultural history of taxidermy.
Byron Eggenschwiler is an award-winning illustrator whose recent books include The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt by Riel Nason, Operatic by Kyo Maclear (starred reviews from Booklist, School Library Journal and Quill & Quire), Coyote Tales by Thomas King and Beastly Puzzles by Rachel Poliquin (starred review from School Library Journal). Byron’s work has also appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Walrus, GQ and O, The Oprah Magazine. He lives in Calgary, Alberta.