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Project Seahorse (Scientists in the Field Series) Hardcover – July 12, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-8–Project Seahorse follows the work of two dedicated scientists as they explore the life cycle of the tiger tail seahorse and forge partnerships with the people of Handumon in the Philippines to save its habitat. A full-page color map places the islands in their global context and shows the range of seahorses, animals that scientists know little about. The stunning full-color photographs amplify the descriptions of the creatures' life cycle as the male receives the eggs from the female and nurtures them to maturity in his brood pouch. Dangers to their survival appear not only from marine predators but also from unsustainable practices such as blast-fishing and bottom trawling, two techniques that damage and destroy coral reefs. By showing the scientists at work with local villagers and leaders as well as regional and national government representatives, the author stresses the importance of community-based conservation. The photographs of village children replanting mangrove trees and posing on the Project Seahorse boat reveal how involved the local people became. This book is a great addition to any collection and perfect for seahorse, coral reef, or marine-conservation assignments.Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

The latest Scientists in the Field entry continues the series’ consistently successful approach to giving young enquirers a close look at the natural world and those who study it. Noting that the more than 40 species of sea horse worldwide are all threatened by overfishing and other factors, Turner balances her observations of two biologists who have been instrumental in setting up a Marine Protected Area (MPA) along part of a reef in the Philippines with a profile of one local fisherman and his family who are dependent on the reef’s wildlife for their livelihood. Thanks to the fluent, information-rich narrative and to Tuason’s engagingly up-close color photos of both human divers and of sea horses and other reef denizens, readers will come away with a much clearer understanding of the sea horse’s distinctively “oddball biology” and also of how one conservation success story hinged on cooperation between scientists and concerned local residents. A perfunctory resource list is the only weakness here. Grades 5-8. --John Peters

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1010L (What's this?)
  • Series: Scientists in the Field Series
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (July 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547207131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547207131
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

My Background

I was very interested in books as a child. I still remember how hard I worked as a four-year-old at learning to write my name because my mother promised I could have a library card as soon as I could scrawl "PAMELA." When my parents made me turn my bedroom lights out at night, I would read by the tiny red light on the temperature control for my electric blanket. I grew up in Riverside--a rather hot part of Southern California. I was forced to sweat through many books, and not just because I was worried about the hero.

The first thing I can remember wanting to be is a children's author. I also loved animals. We had a dog and a big outdoor cage full of doves. My good friend, Jenny, lived on a dairy farm and it was critter heaven for me. We would jump her horses bareback over bales of hay and ride for miles in the hills.

When I was in college I spent a year in Nairobi, Kenya as an exchange student. I didn't know much about Africa before I left, but I knew it had lots of wildlife. I traveled throughout East and Central Africa and saw lions, elephants, gorillas, Cape buffalo, and many other animals. I met my future husband, Rob, in Kenya. He was also an exchange student. We both loved living in another country.

I have a B.A. in Social Science from the University of California, Irvine, and a Master of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. I've worked as a legislative assistant for foreign affairs for a California congressman and as a international health consultant. Over the years Rob and I lived in Kenya, the Marshall Islands, South Africa, the Philippines, and Japan. We have three children, Travis (26), Kelsey (24), and Connor (21). Each of them was born in a different country.

How I Started Writing

My family and I lived in Japan for about six years, and my children all attended a local Japanese preschool. The Japanese mothers at the preschool told me the story of Hachiko. I thought it was a wonderful tale. When we returned to the U.S. I decided I wanted to be a writer, just like I'd planned to be when I was four.(Better late than never.) Hachiko is famous in Japan, and I thought his story would be a wonderful one to share with English-speaking children. HACHIKO was my first book. Since then I've written seven more (GORILLA DOCTORS, LIFE ON EARTH-AND BEYOND, A LIFE IN THE WILD, THE FROG SCIENTIST, PROWLING THE SEAS, PROJECT SEAHORSE, and THE DOLPHINS OF SHARK BAY). Another book is in the pipeline: SAMURAI RISING, to be published in 2016 by Charlesbridge.

On the Home Front

We now live in Oakland, California. I've written many science and nature articles for adults and for children. Besides reading and writing, I like to scuba dive and snow ski. I've been lucky enough to dive all over the world, including the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and off California. I love diving because you can get closer to big animals underwater than anywhere else. Several years ago I began learning kendo (Japanese swordfighting) along with with youngest son, Connor. We are members of the Berkeley Kendo Dojo.

When I write I am ably kept company by my yellow labrador retriever, Manchee, and my son Connor's cockapoo, Tux. They sometimes respond to "sit." They always respond to "cookie." I also have a very obese Australian White's tree frog named Dumpy F. Lumpy who looks a lot like Jabba the Hut.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Connie Goldsmith on August 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"Project Seahorse," by Pamela S. Turner, photos by Scott Tuason. (Houghton Mifflin). This lovely book opens with scientists studying seahorses in a coral reef in the Philippines. Also on the reef is a man who once collected seahorses to help feed his family. The author explores with sensitivity the conflict between conservation of natural resources and the needs of burgeoning human populations. Two pioneering marine scientists work tirelessly with a Philippine group called Project Seahorse to help save the dwindling numbers of these most charming fishes. Surprisingly, these are the first scientists to study seahorses in the wild. The brilliant photos provide a "fish-eye" view of seahorses, fish, and reefs. An excellent collection of back material tells young readers what they can do to help save seahorses, and sends them to [...] for more info.

Connie Goldsmith, Children's Book Reviewer for California Kids, a Sacramento regional parenting publication.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on August 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Pamela S. Turner's PROJECT SEAHORSE tells of the endangered seahorse whose populations have been declining over the past twenty years. This survey is more than a natural history of the seahorse: it explores how committed conservationists and community organizers have restored damaged seahorse habitats, and offers all ages a fine coverage of ecological restoration.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul Camp on June 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Pamela S. Turner's _Project Seahorse_ (2010) is part of a series of books for young readers called Scientists in the Field. It is handsomely bound, with lovely photographs by Scott Tuason. But parents should be aware that the text is fairly advanced. I would say that it is geared for fourth graders and up, rather than for very young children.

There are five main chapters and an epilogue. The chapters are: "A Night on the Reef," "Mr. Mom," "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish," "At Home in Handumon," and "Good Seahorse Neighbors". Chapter one deals with an introduction to life forms on Handumon reef and their threats from homemade bombs. Chapter two deals with the egg-carrying male seahorse*. Chapter three is an elaboration on life in the coral reef, seahorse and otherwise. Chapters four and five are concerned with Project Seahorse, a seahorse rescue project based in the Phillipines using scientists, volunteers, teachers, and schoolchildren. The epilogue, "Onion World," is a collage of facts about seahorse conservation around the world.

There are three sidebar articles on interesting special topics: "How the Seahorse Got Its Pouch," "Fish Havens," and (my favorite) "Seahorses and Traditional Chinese Medicine". In addition, the book contains an excellent index and glossary, a good list of resources (books, videos, and internet sites), and a guide of how to help seahorses. The color photographs are spectacular-- the next best thing to watching these wonderful creatures in the wild. Highly recommended.

*For parents in the Chattanooga area who want to protect their children from hearing about this delicate information-- lotsa luck.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
“Project Seahorse” by Pamela Turner, Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Harcourt, Boston, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-547-20713-1. A 58 page HC book 11 ¼ x 9 ¼”. A nicely illustrated books with colorful photographs by Scott Tuason depicting undersea life both of Seahorses, coral reefs and related organisms.

The books describes the beauty of the ocean, reefs and sea creatures including the Seahorse in the Bohol region of the Philippines where ocean biologist Amanda Vincent & associate Heather Koldeway, another diving enthusiast, are dismayed at overfishing for food has led to serious decline in Seahorses and much coral destruction in Bohol, established in conjunction with the islanders a marine protected area “MPA” 10 years previously and follow-up has shown improvement in the sea life forms and the coral reefs.

There are few books on Seahorses (Hippocampus), a unique fish species that swims vertically and wherein the females transfer their eggs into an abdominal pouch of the male for fertilization and incubations and hatchings. They are reported to mate for life. Due to massive dredging for small fish and Seahorses for export to the Orient, Seahorses populations have dwindled and Project Seahorse may be their salvation. The pictures and textual material is excellent, makes for easy reading and helps fill a void in the paucity of written material on Hippocampus.
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This is another great book about the ecology of seahorses and how that ecology was uncovered. It's a great book for students because it shows how scientists do their research. Who wouldn't want to go scuba diving with seahorses?
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