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Science Comics: Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean Paperback – March 29, 2016
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From the Publisher
"Like having a Time Life Science Library in comic books. Which is awesome!" ―Popular Science
"Author and illustrator Wicks’s experience shines through with accurate facts and appealing, colorful drawings."
―School Library Journal
About the Author
Maris Wicks lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. She has harnessed the power of her various biological systems to draw comics for Adhouse Books, Tugboat Press, and Spongebob Comics, and has written stories for Image and DC Comics. Wicks is the illustrator of New York Times Bestselling Primates, with Jim Ottaviani. Her solo graphic novels include Human Body Theater and Science Comics: Coral Reefs. She is quite fond of being in the water, whether it's swimming in ponds or scuba diving in the Atlantic Ocean.
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Top Customer Reviews
As expected, coral reefs are defined and explained, but author Maris Wicks looks at the bigger picture of the ocean and how coral reefs play a global role. Each section introduces new concepts, and Wicks does a great job of summarizing and repeating key content. The narrating goby fish provides witty asides, but is always clarifying what's true and what isn't so there is no confusion. Climate change/global warming and being a good eco-citizen are all discussed, though I was very surprised that there was never a warning to readers about the importance of keeping a distance and not touching living coral.
The illustrations are wonderfully bright and interesting and along with the loads of information, Coral Reefs is a book to return to again and again. The Grammar Police did find a typo and a couple of errors, but I still highly recommend it to middle grade readers and adults alike (I learned a ton!). This needs to be on the shelf in every school library and science classroom.
Thank you to ReadWriteLove28 and First Second Books for providing me a gorgeous print copy in exchange for my honest review -- the only kind I give. If you like this review, visit my blog Hall Ways for book views, reviews, and news you can use - or not. [...]
This book covers more than just basic information about coral reefs. Readers will also learn about different animals, scientific classification systems, and much, much more. It even teaches readers small things that they can do to help the environment in a big way and how these choices can even affect the health of coral reefs, even if someone, like me, doesn't live close to one.
Many of the pages have footnotes that give even more information or just a bit of humor to the narrative. The little goby narrator fish adds some adorableness to the entire book. I look forward to reading future installments in this series especially Dinosaurs, Fossils and Feathers. Overall, this series seems like a fun way to learn about the world around us.
I received this book as part of a blog tour but that did not affect my rating.
Once again Maris Wick provides us an entertaining and educational look at the wonders of the fathomless sea – the living structures of coral reefs. Science Comics: Coral Reefs, is a journey through both the necessity of and impact we’re causing on this delicate life form. Educational in form, the Science Comics banner is right up Wick’s alley. Having published books like The Human Body Theater, her work never used the word “science,” but as a biologist, she has always delivered poignant works that provide budding scientists with appealing material.
The writing is Wick at her best. The structure is laid out more, structured and contains a glossary and further readings guide. For the young marine biologist, this is a vast improvement over previous works – not engaged totally with bombarding you with information, but packaging it out a chapter at a time. Covering most aspects you would expect in an educational book: from where coral reefs are found, how they develop, their species and ecosystems, biodiversity and most importantly, man’s impact on the 40-60% oxygen source of the planet, Science comics: Coral Reefs delivers in spades. Clear and concise, not holding back on the difficult scientific terms, I found the writing more comfortable, matching the layout of the graphic novel. Writing educational material for young and young adults, is difficult at best, especially when lying out a scientific book, but Wick pulls through. The glossary at the back is an immense help to children, especially when discussing things in their scientific nomenclature.
The art is yet another thing that Wick has improved on. Panels are lain out more clearly, with not as much clutter on the page. In her signature style, a small fish is your guide through the “story” and narrates the book. Seemingly abstruse pictures of coral reefs are drawn in biological school-book fashion, but the more mundane is simplified and gives life to an otherwise dry read (sorry, wet read). The word balloons simplify more difficult concepts and add humor to the grand design. All and all the panels are easy to follow, flow consistently, and convey the information more clearly, than any of Maris’ prior works.
Thematically, this book does more than merely discuss the biology of the magnificent living structure of the coral reef. It also delivers a strong message on what mankind has done to either help or hinder the ecosystem in which they exist. Touching on notable points such as pollution, in its many forms, and CO2 emissions, to recycling plastics and fossil fuels, Science Comics: Coral Reefs has a dual message to convey. Through raising awareness of the amount of plastics used and the carbon dioxide emissions caused by producing them, to run off pollution by factory or farm, to global warming and its impact on marine life, Wick delivers a strong message about increasing awareness about the geosystem, and offers solutions on how to alleviate some of the more pressing problems – right down to writing governmental bodies. This dualism between teaching the adults of tomorrow about the science and impacts of not just (but primarily) coral reefs, but all marine life and more importantly, raising global environmental awareness really adds charm to this graphic novel.
For lovers of the ocean (of which I number), to budding marine biologists, Science Comics: Coral Reefs should make an excellent addition to anyone’s library.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very cool book. I like the way the author drew the fish who's narrating the book, and all the other drawings.Read more