cover image Papa Seahorse’s Search

Papa Seahorse’s Search

Anita Bijsterbosch. Clavis (Legato, dist.), $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-60537-211-2

When a sea horse father loses one of his 10 babies, readers can help search for them by lifting large flaps shaped like sea creatures, rocks, seaweed, and other underwater features. Along the way, Bijsterbosch introduces several friendly aquatic fathers, including Papa Anglerfish, Papa Crab, and Papa Octopus. Each time the animals suggest a place to look for the missing sea horse, readers discover different animal offspring—one baby whale, two baby puffer fish, three baby sea turtles, and so on. Repeating counting language (“one, two, three, four, five baby sea snakes”) helps drive home the concept, and the bold colors and chunky shapes of Bijsterbosch’s artwork make a strong visual impact. The eventual discovery of the missing sea horse in its father’s pouch offers an easy segue into conversations about the male sea horse’s unusual role in birthing its young. Ages 2–up. (Mar.)