From School Library Journal
Grade 3–5—Using animal-shaped numbers from 1 to 10 and back again, McLimans introduces various marine creatures and their survival status. An African penguin, sea lamprey, tiger tail sea horse, and blue-ringed octopus are among the featured species. The text boxes accompanying each entry are not offset as distinctly as they were in the author's Gone Wild
(Walker, 2006), so viewers are not sure where to look first. The boxes include the class to which each marine animal belongs, its habitat, aquatic region, threats, and status ("vulnerable," "endangered," and "critically endangered"), but the terms are not defined. Between the count up and count down is a spread of "Ocean Facts by the Numbers," which presents various statistics in the power of 10. For example, "Less than 1 percent of water on Earth is freshwater," "Plastic waste kills up to 1 million seabirds every year," and "About 1 billion people live in coastal urban centers, and the resulting overdevelopment threatens almost 50 percent of the world's coastal habitats." The black silhouetted numbers are sinuous and compelling in this unique and imaginative description of the dangers facing ocean life today.—Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
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From the author of Caldecott Honor Book Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet Book (2006), comes this picture book that uses numbers as a vehicle for presenting striking images and bits of information about animals living in oceans and along shorelines. A typical page features a large picture representing a number from 1 to 10, with each numeral made up of all or part of a sea creature’s body. The pages also list the animals’ common and scientific names, class, habitat, region, threats, and status. The large pictures are bold black-and-white images on blue pages or blue-and-white ones on black. Appended pages present further information on the mentioned animals, threats to the world’s oceans as well as a list of organizations and a bibliography of recommended reading. Given the book’s “numbers 1-to-10” concept, picture-book format, vis-a-vis its relatively high reading level, the audience is an open question, but perhaps creative teachers will find the answer. Grades 2-4. --Carolyn Phelan