By: Jennifer Evans Kramer
Illustrated by: Gary R. Phillips
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing
Publication date: 2009
Reviewed by: Pamela Victor
Review Date: March 24, 2010
Through lyrical prose and beautifully rendered illustrations, Ocean Hide and Seek easily captures young readers’ imagination and interest in the mysteries of the underwater world. The song-like qualities of Kramer’s verse make reading this book out loud a pleasure. One page shows bright clown fish nestled among the wavy green and blue tentacles of its anemone home. “Clownfish colors, orange and white – orange and white, orange and white. Seeking shelter, taking flight, clownfish hiding in plain sight.”
The carefully selected wording informs allusively, prompting children to ask enthusiastic questions about these underwater wonders. Surely they will ask why the parrotfish has a “cocoon” around her at night or what is the name of that animal trying to look like a deadly sea snake. Lucky for adult readers, four pages of explanations and information provide the answers for most young readers’ questions. Delving beyond the simple narration, even children at the older range of the 4-8 year old set will learn about mimicry, disruptive coloration, and counter illumination, to name a few examples in this section of Ocean Hide and Seek.
Teachers and caregivers using this book as a jumping off point for further learning about ocean life can visit the publishers website, SylvanDellPublishing.com, to find a plethora of comprehension questions, quizzes, coloring pages and language arts, math, science and geography activities relating to Ocean Hide and Seek. There is even a link to buy stuffed underwater creatures featured in the book.
Quill says: Whether as a jumping-off point for launching further studies or for the sheer pleasure of the lyrical prose and soothing illustrations, this book is a wonderful watery treasure.