Weird Ocean

Robin Boutell, Illustrator
Kathryn Smith, illus. by Robin Bushell, Kingfisher, $14.99 (14p) ISBN 978-0-7534-6462-5
Reviewed on: 06/28/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
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The ocean's biggest, tiniest, fastest, ugliest, deepest, and deadliest occupants can all be found among the pop-ups, pull tabs, flip books, and flaps of this fact-packed book. Page titles like "Ocean Motion" and "Toxic!" head sections that outline everything from the migration routes of Pacific salmon to the number of humans one puffer fish's poison can kill (it's 30, by the way). Spilling over with accurate illustrations of whales, fish, and octopuses, as well as tidbits of surprising information, this book should tantalize readers with the stranger side of undersea life. Also available: Weird Bugs. Ages 4–8. (Aug.) I'm a Scientist: Kitchen Lisa Burke DK, $12.99 (24p) ISBN 978-0-7566-6307-0 This hands-on collection of 16 simple science experiments uses readily available food and kitchen items. Projects include structures built from dried spaghetti and marshmallows, squishy cornstarch and food coloring "gobbledy goo," and an experiment that utilizes eggs, salt, and a glass of water to illustrate density. Colorful images accompany the easy-to-follow steps, along with relevant cartoon creatures (which offer glib commentary in speech bubbles), while large flaps explain the science behind the fun: "The slices of apple and banana coated in lemon juice look fresh, but the uncoated slices turn brown. This is called oxidation." The play-with-purpose concept should be a hit with inquisitive kids. Available simultaneously: I'm a Scientist: Backyard. Ages 4–7. (July)
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