Sunday, March 24, 2019

Spring Reading 2019 Little Monsters of the Ocean: Metamorphosis under the Waves


"Bizarre creatures are floating around in our oceans - squishy, slimy spiky-headed monsters. And they're not even grown up yet!" Once young readers look at the incredible cover image and then read that statement on the back, they will be hooked. The author shares amazing details of how various forms of sea life progress through the stages of metamorphosis until they finally reach their adult forms. Some float along at the whim of the currents, some propel themselves with cilia, others hitch a ride. Why? Because they are all in search of the perfect spot to settle down and reproduce. But between their birth and that moment when they carry on the species, there are plenty of dangers and challenges.

Along with the explanations and descriptions of all the assorted tricks of the trade that these small monsters employ to survive, there are also text boxes that pop out facts sure to grab attention. Did you know that crabs can self-amputate to escape a predator? And what youngster interested in animals wouldn't be curious about a creature like the hermit crab that eats its own exoskeleton after molting? (Talk about recycling!) The images show transparent nistos, salamanders with feathery gills, and luminous moon jellyfish, as well as many other denizens of the deep.

Montgomery quite truthfully states, "Scientists are still swimming in a sea of questions about metamorphosis." And as she says in her author's note, "maybe those unanswered questions were the most exciting part of it all." Sometimes we adults forget that youngsters don't realize there are still questions to explore that no one knows the answers to. Perhaps, if we are lucky, some of those young people in our lives will be inspired by books like this one to go out and find those answers.

I read an advance copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley. Any quotes came from that ARC and may differ slightly from the final text.

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