A few weeks ago Caramel reviewed a beautiful nonfiction book titled The Magnificent Book of Animals, illustrated by Val Walerczuk and written by Tom Jackson. Today he decided to talk about a similar book: The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures, once again illustrated by Val Walerczuk and written by Tom Jackson. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.
Sprinkles: I have been seeing you read and reread this book for the last few weeks. What is it about?
Caramel: It’s about ocean animals. Well, there is also corals…
S: Are corals animals?
C: They’re made of polyps which are little animals. Tiny, probably microscopic.
S: Hmm, let’s see. Wikipedia tells us that corals are made up of polyps as you said. And polyps are tiny invertebrates but nowhere do I see how big they are. So I guess I will take your word for it for now…
C: Oh, wait, I want to tell you this fact: Polyps are relatives of jellyfish! Did you know that?
C: And they have “tentacles for sifting food from water”.
S: That is interesting Caramel! I can see why you find this book fascinating! It is full of interesting facts.
C: Yep. Let me tell you a few facts about my favorite ocean creature in this book.
S: Oh, I am curious. What is it about?
C: Here, I found it: Flying fish!
Flying fish do not actually fly. They leap out of the water at high speeds and then glide on their winglike fins. The fish glide to escape larger predators that are attacking them underwater.
S: This is all very interesting!
C: There’s more!
S: But we should talk more about the book more generally. So tell me more about the book. What creatures are described in it?
C: I’ll tell you all of the animals in this book.
S: So you’ll read me the table of contents basically?
S: That’s alright. Go ahead.
C: Sea otter, walrus, hooded seal, blue whale, humpback whale, narwhal, orca (killer whale), bottlenose dolphin, manatee, yellowfin tuna, marine iguana, whale shark, great white shark, ocean sunfish, manta ray, oarfish, humpback anglerfish, sea horse, queen parrotfish, clownfish, green sea turtle, lionfish, sailfish, flying fish, tufted puffin, emperor penguin, pelican, giant clam, lobster, giant Pacific octopus, giant squid, insulamon freshwater crab, sea slug, sea star, lion’s mane jellyfish, and coral.
S: Wow! That is a lot of creatures. And just like in the other Magnificient Book you reviewed, each of these animals gets two pages to itself, right?
C: Yes. And they also have amazing drawings! They are actually hand-drawn! It’s amazing!
S: I know! Some people are really good at drawing and illustrating, right?
C: They’re so good! They’re out of this world! At first I actually thought they were photos, but no, they are hand-drawn.
S: Yes, I am sure the illustrator worked really hard on them. And she must have worked really hard to get this good!
C: This reminds me of a quote, I do not know who it is from: “We do not do it because it is easy. We do it because it is hard.”
S: Oh, that is President John F. Kennedy’s speech about going to the moon. Here is the full transcript. The part you are remembering is:
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
Isn’t it an inspiring speech? And you are right in remembering it just now. Good illustrators work hard at their craft, and even if they probably find drawing easier than you and me, drawing that well needs a lot of hard work.
C: I guess all that hard work be tiring.
S: Probably. But in the end they have a truly magnificent book!
S: Okay, Caramel. Let us wrap this up. Do you want to rate it again, by finding three words to describe this book?
C: Yes. Here they are: Awesome, amazing, beautiful.
S: Well, these basically say the same thing, but I know what you mean. The book is beautiful. Alright, here are my three words: “colorful”, “big”, because it is a pretty big book, and “interesting”, because there are a lot of interesting facts in this book that I did not know about.
C: I agree!
S: Ok, and now you tell everyone:
C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!