Another voyage of the imagination from the author of Redwoods. This time a little girl picks a book off the library shelf on Coral Reefs, and as she begins to read, coral begins to grow on library tables in the Reading Room of the New York Public Library. The ceiling mural even features fish, and water seeps across the floor at first, then flows in with a tidal wave on the following pages. Now she is swimming, book still in hand, around the coral reefs, exploring the amazing variety of life that makes a home here along with the reader. The text is factual, and while the illustrations do support the text, they also extend it in a whole other narrative as well. Predator relationships, like those of the whale shark and reef fish, as well as symbiotic partnerships, like that between the coral and the algae that makes the reefs possible, are highlighted.
The details in this book are extraordinary, from pencil sketches of different species of coral and reef inhabitants on the endpapers to the adjacent books on the library shelf (including Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and The Voyages of the Beagle, among others). An endnote explains the very real dangers that threaten these stunning parts of our ecosystem today, along with a list of things you can actually do to help. A stunning non-fiction picture book that elementary age children will enjoy. Older readers can delve into the details and hopefully be inspired to read more about coral reefs.
See the artist/author’s website for a preview: http://jasonchin.net/books/coral-reefs/