A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea

Jessica Law, Author, Jill McDonald, Illustrator
Jessica Law, illus. by Jill McDonald. Barefoot, $16.99 (24p) ISBN 978-1-84686-862-7
Reviewed on: 04/29/2013
Release date: 06/01/2013
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-1-84686-861-0
Paperback - 24 pages - 978-1-84686-948-8
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Law adapts this familiar cumulative song, replacing the frog and its log with animals more likely to be found in a saltwater environment—and turning the tune into a fun introduction to an undersea food chain. This version opens with a predator: “There’s a shark in the hole in the bottom of the sea./ In the dark in the hole in the bottom of the sea.” Working in gouache and collage, McDonald (Over in the Meadow) gives the shark a wide, toothy grin and a mischievous gleam in its eye, as jellyfish float nearby and plants sway. The shark is soon joined by an eel, squid, crab, and snail, and subsequent verses mention the roles of seaweed and the sun. As friendly and colorful as McDonald makes these sea creatures and their environs, their interconnected roles as predator and prey are not downplayed—in the final scene, everyone ends up in the shark’s belly. Endnotes discuss each link in this particular food chain (and actual undersea holes), and an enhanced CD with audio and video elements is also included. Ages 3–6. (June)
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