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Citizens of the Sea: Wondrous Creatures From the Census of Marine Life Hardcover – Sep 14 2010


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Amazon.com: 42 reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
You'll come for the photos, but you'll stay for the text Oct. 29 2010
By R. Olson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
My father, who was a P.O.W. survivor of World War II always urged us to eat slowly and chew our food thoroughly. He credited that practice for his survival when many men around him in the prison camps wolfed down their food, developed digestive problems, and died. That same advice comes to my mind in reading Nancy Knowlton's wonderous book, "Citizens of the Sea: Wonderous creatures from the Census of Marine Life." The pictures are amazing, but the text is the real treat. And it needs to be consumed slowly, savoring every fascinating morsel.

Superficially, it looks like another pretty coffee table book of sea creatures that sits on your coffee table for a while as visitors occasionally flip through the photos. But when you take the time to sit down and digest the text, you realize the greatest strength of the book is the writing that supports the stunning photos. Dr. Knowlton (who is a long time friend) has dug up soooo many tidbits in support of the images that it almost reads like a trivia book. Everything from the fact that there are waaaay more bacteria in the ocean than stars in the sky, to defensive "rosettes" of spiny lobsters and whales, to the awesome Bob Marley Worm -- the book is packed with memorable details.

I once went to a diving trade show where they had slide show presentations from sport divers. One after another they got up and showed amazing underwater photos of fish and corals they had taken. The only problem was they had no idea of what was in the photos. So the audience -- hundreds of people -- just sat there in dead silence, cooing over the images, but having no clue of what they were seeing. This book is the opposite of that. For each photo, not only is your question of, "What's that?" answered, you also get stories and factoids about the creatures that will make you realize it is far more than just another coffee table adornment. It's a book that will give you a warm and loving introduction to the citizens who inhabit the sea!
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Amazing book about our amazing Seas! Sept. 16 2010
By B. G. Sibley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a truly beautiful book. The writing is wonderful -- even my six year old has chosen it as his favorite book. It makes a great gift for anyone from 6 to 100. One of the best books I have bought.I plan to give it to friends,teachers and colleagues this holiday season. Perfect!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The best popular book about ocean life June 9 2011
By Enric Sala - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I am a marine ecologist and National Geographic explorer who spends as much time diving and studying marine life as possible, and after 25 years of doing it I was still amazed by some of the stories that Nancy Knowlton wrote in her book 'Citizens of the sea.' Not only I learned new things, but I also had a ball reading it - the only book on marine life I could not put down! It is, in my opinion, the best, most fun and accessible book to learn about the life, love and death of marine creatures. If you think the photos are beautiful, read the text; it is the best part of the book.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I bought ten copies April 5 2011
By Emmett Duffy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As another reviewer mentioned, the mesmerizing photos of majestic and stranger-than-fiction creatures are the bait that draws you in, but it's the little gems of prose on each topic that really stuck with me -- even as a professional marine biologist I learned all kinds of fascinating stuff for the first time or saw it in a new light. More importantly, the book rekindles that sense of awe and inspiration from nature that makes every kid want to be a marine biologist at some point in life. In fact it reminds me so much of those that turned me on to ocean life when I was young that I ordered ten copies and gave them to all of my students and staff for Christmas (which is not hard to do at $17 each!). Personally I think the size is perfect -- this is not something you want to leave sitting on your coffee table.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Phantastic ! Oct. 14 2010
By Christian Ziegler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I am very impressed with this book on many levels. The photography is superb, the layout is well done, and the text is deeply informed, fun to read, and full of cool and new facts about the oceans and its inhabitants. A rare example of a great marriage of science and entertainment. I think this is an ideal book for anyone interested in marine life, and a perfect gift to get someone interested.


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