Sharks and Other Sea Creatures by DK
|Sharks and Other Sea Creatures by DK|
|Category: Children's Non-Fiction|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: Heavy on crafting opportunities, this book is merely a ripple of sunlight in the depth of the ocean, but may well inspire further lessons.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: March 2017|
|Publisher: DK Children|
Never before have I found much cause to point out the sort of lower-case, almost-a-subtitle wording on the front of a book. I say that because very little of this is about sharks – so if you have a youngster intending to come here and learn all their bloodthirsty imagination can hold, then they may well be disappointed. If you take it on board that the 'other sea creatures' make up the bulk of the book, then all well and good. And even better, if you expect yourself to make the bulk of said creatures…
Yes, this volume, and the others in the current series, is crammed with the chance to have fun – to step aside from the learning it entails and get (slightly) messy and creative. Here, indeed, it feels like every single double-page spread is followed by an art project. So we start with the different forms of sea life (mammals, invertebrates etc), and visit the sharks in their headline-grabbing prime, then it's to the drawing board to make a shark picture. The audience is certainly intended to be young, as any and every piece of cutting-out is to be done by an adult.
Elsewhere we get to demolish a whole picnic set, as we paint a puffer fish drawing with a funky technique using a fork, wreck several paper plates for a clownfish we can decorate as we wish, and glue 'rick rack' (whatever that is) to a disposable bowl to make a jellyfish body. Oh, and we need an old-fashioned eggbox for an undersea diorama. The results match with a strong pictorial element you'd expect for a book for such a pre-school audience, and for once the finished works look both achievable and of a reasonable quality.
I only hope all the said results are well-thought of, and don't end up in the sea. Which brings me to one point – it's a little disappointing that a book of this nature, for whatever age, does not mention the chance of sea life being ruined and disappearing in their lifetime. It mentions coral a couple of times, but never gives us the bad news about it, and never discusses our waste hitting the waterways. That's because it doesn't concern itself with the future, it's merely about the present, and the present is going to be a good one with the help of books like this. You're so busy doing things with glue, card, parental help and so on that you've no chance of realising the amount of information that is going in. These books are strong candidates for an early home non-fiction library – for just as long as you can provide paper plates they will provide active learning, which is only a good thing.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
For entertainment for the even younger, on the same theme, we recommend SNAP! by Margaret Mayo and Alex Ayliffe.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: rick rack - or ricrac - is a flat narrow braid woven in zigzag form, used as a trimming for clothing or curtains. Or jellyfish, apparently.)
You can read more book reviews or buy Sharks and Other Sea Creatures by DK at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Sharks and Other Sea Creatures by DK at Amazon.com.
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