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Sea Horse: The Shyest Fish in the Sea Hardcover – April 11, 2006

7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 3–In addition to learning about sea horses, children will be enticed by the fabulous ocean depths captured in Lawrence's prints. The artist used wood textures to create watery backgrounds for the vinyl engravings of sea plants and animals. Watercolor washes in muted tones of green, blue, and red complete the look. Text that occasionally follows the wavy pattern of an ocean current provides brief but specific descriptions of the small creatures. Additional captions provide tactile depictions: …he has tiny prickles down his back, like a dragon. The narrative focuses on the Barbour's breed with a dozen other types of sea horses illustrated on the endpapers. Facts such as how they move, reproduce, and eat are revealed with concrete details such as [Each] new sea horse is only as long as your eyelash. Images illustrate such concepts as camouflage and the creatures' prehensile tail. Thoroughly engaging, this is a brilliant marriage of art and science.–Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* K-Gr. 2. In stunning pictures and engaging words, this nonfiction picture book explains the facts behind the unusual life cycle alluded to in Eric Carle's Mister Seahorse (2000). Pairing a central narrative about a male Barbour's sea horse with facts in smaller type, Butterworth first pinpoints the creatures' most immediately appealing attributes ("a head like a horse, a tail like a monkey"), then goes on to discuss the males' gestational role in reproduction and survival tactics of newly independent offspring. Though some statements may require adult elaboration, as when embryos are referred to as the "dots in the eggs," Butterworth has a flair for dynamic writing; children will listen with interest to the dramatic culmination of Sea Horse's birthing efforts, when babies "swirl around him in the water like smoke." Working in the same style that distinguished his artwork in Martin Waddell's Tiny's Big Adventure (2004), Lawrence has created vinyl engravings that masterfully capture the delicate textures of sea horses' graceful, spiny bodies and of their undersea habitats. Capped by useful endnotes, this is an accomplished entree to early science topics. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 930L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (April 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763629898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763629892
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 0.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,355,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Philip E. Nast on October 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This natural history traces the life cycle of a Barbour's Sea Horse. The facts are presented clearly and are supported by outstanding illustrations. The author has also provided an index and encourages young readers to use it -- not common in a picture book aimed at young readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jeannine: waddleeahchaa on May 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
In the last few years, I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of nonfiction books available for children. Sea Horse The Shyest Fish in the Sea is a nonfiction book that has the look of beautifully illustrated children's literature. When the artwork on the cover of this book first grabbed my attention, I was expecting a story book. The watery textured background is layered with vinyl engravings of delicate plants, coral, seahorses and other sea animals. The muted hues of ocean blues, greens, oranges and reds take you right down into the sea. Love, love, love these uniquely artistic illustrations!

I find sea horses to be one of the most enchanting animals in the ocean. They truly look like mythical creatures. Sea Horse The Shyest Fish in the Sea is a wonderful combination of engaging artwork and nonfiction information. The author, Chris Butterworth, writes a narrative that shares how the seahorse moves, eats and reproduces. I know reproduction stories sometime send parents running in the other direction. Breathe deep, the sea horses are described as dancing until sunset. The illustrations do show the female putting the eggs into the male pouch. Actually, a very interesting fact! If you read this book, I bet you learn a few sea horse facts! My kids (ages 6 and 9) loved this book, both the illustrations and the facts.

You might also like:
Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea
Secret Seahorse (Hide-And-Seek Books (Barefoot Books))
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Format: Hardcover
Chris Butterworth's _Sea Horse: The Shyest Fish in the Sea_ (2006) has a text that is mostly on the life cycle of the Sea Horse. It is scientifically accurate, but told in an almost poetic style:

A few weeks later,
Sea Horse finds a quiet place
to hide among the corals.
It's time for the babies to be born.
He works hard all day
and through the night,
bending, squeezing, and pushing,
shooting hundreds
of babies out of his pouch... (16)

You did know, didn't you, that the male seahorse carried the young and gave birth to them? Of course you did.

The illustrations are some lovely colored woodcuts by John Lawrence showing Sea Horses and other ocean denizens like snappers, jellyfish, clownfish and octopi. The endpapers portray six different species of these curious and delightful creatures. A charming book.
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By Elicia M. Cartmell on December 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My daughter loves this book. It has beautiful illustrations and lots of good information. We checked this out at our local library several times and finally decided to buy it for her library. It has sparked an interest and love of the Ocean as well as the Sea horse. I would buy this again.
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