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Coral Reefs Hardcover – Oct 25 2011


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Coral Reefs + Island: A Story of the Galápagos + Redwoods
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Review

“Information and fantasy collaborate in this imaginative introduction to coral reefs.” --BCCB
 
“Chin offers a colorful and inventive introduction to coral reefs.” --School Library Journal
 
"Chin, who pioneered this hybrid form of straightforward nonfiction text and fanciful pictures with Redwoods (2009), offers another a statement about the power of reading for an imaginative child with this appealing introduction to a complex world." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review 
 
"Chin’s detailed illustrations capture the dappled light of shallow water and the bright tropical colors and patterns in the featured flora and fauna…. Readers shouldn’t skip the information at the back, which explains the serious problem of coral bleaching due to global warming.” --Horn Book Magazine
 
"Chin’s latest book offers a straightforward text discussing coral reefs, while the well-composed illustrations create an imaginative narrative running in parallel.” --Booklist

About the Author

Jason Chin is the author and artist of the award-winning book Redwoods, which Kirkus Reviews called, “An inventive eye-opening adventure.” His work also includes illustrations for Simon Winchester's The Day the World Exploded. He and his wife Deirdre, also an artist, live in Vermont.

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Amazon.com: 22 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Anyone interested in coral reefs will love this book! Feb. 10 2012
By Young Mensan BookParade - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is about the coral reef and the ocean. A coral reef is an underwater city made of coral with fish, seahorses, sharks and sea turtles. In this book, you find out about what a coral reef is and about the food chain and the partnerships in the reefs. They also discuss the sandy area between the reef and the shore, the lagoon. We also learn about many species who have adapted to survive in this enviroment.

Any kid who is interested in Coral Reefs would love this book.

My favorite part of the book was when they discussed the food chain.

This book is appropriate for young readers ages 5-7.

Review by Young Mensan Katie, age 6
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A fascinating, beautiful journey. Dec 21 2011
By Heidi Grange - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is gorgeous, that pretty much covers it. The illustrations take the reader on a journey over and around a coral reef. Even without the words, I could easily follow the story. I love the idea of a book taking the reader on a journey to somewhere they may never be able to go in real life. This suits my lifestyle of armchair adventuring. The text does add a great deal of information, a little too much for a read-a-loud I discovered, especially when the students kept interrupting to share things they knew. The students definitely found the bright and colorful illustrations appealing, as did I. It took some of the students a little time to figure out why the coral reef was growing in a building, but once they figured it out they really got into it. This is a great book for sharing, there is so much to share and talk about. I highly recommend it for those who have any interest in the natural world. If you haven't read Chin's Redwoods as well, I recommend that one also.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Darling it's better down where it's wetter, take it from me Nov. 28 2011
By E. R. Bird - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
First things first. Let's just get something out the way here before I go any further. I am not exactly a disinterested party when it comes to this book. No, I don't know the author personally (though we did meet once). No, I never saw an early manuscript or offered helpful criticisms when the text was still young and unformed. No, I am not a coral reef myself. See, the thing about this book is that it takes place at a very specific location. The bulk of the story happens when a kid enters a library. And not just any library. My library. And by "my" I don't mean my local branch. I mean my employer. So you see, I'm not sure I can be trusted to review this with an impassive eye. There's something that makes a gal go all giddy when a book features her place of work. Never mind that Chin has already established himself as a master of the magical realism nonfiction form (see: "Redwoods") or that the book covers material rarely presented in such an imaginative fashion. Nonfiction books for kids are usually such dull, dry affairs. Clearly an author has to get a little bit wet sometimes to make them interesting. And compromised though I might be, I'm recommending this puppy with all my heart.

A girl stands in a library room and removes a book from a shelf entitled "Coral Reefs". As she reads we see the text below each image. The book explains how reefs are formed, who lives in them, and what their future may be. As we read along we see the girl's library suddenly flooded. New York City is now underwater and the girl observes firsthand the lagoons, the feeding grounds, and the food chain at work. By the end she stands on the library steps utterly wet, and some other kids get to read the book world beneath the sea for themselves. The back of the book features an author's note on the threats the coral reefs now face as well as additional facts and a small bibliography of useful books and websites.

The Stephen A. Schwarzman branch of New York Public Library (better known to the bulk of the world as "the library with the big stone lions out front") has appeared in various works of children's literature for years. From a significant appearance on the dedication page of James Daugherty's "Andy and the Lion" to the "The Inside-Outside Book of Libraries" (by former NYPL employee Julie Cummins, no less) to "Hilary and the Lions" by Frank Desaix, there is no end to the number of titles that have displayed it in some way. Of course, only a few of those books actually give glimpses of the inside of the library itself. This book not only glimpses the inside, it fills it with saltwater. I expect a lot of kids are going to find our rooms a bit disappointing after they go on the oceanic journey of "Coral Reefs" first.

Naturally Chin spoke about this book in my library not that long ago to two classes of second and third graders. Lest you believe kids of that age range cannot take interest in anything that doesn't involve princesses or "Star Wars" characters, allow me to say that the children who saw the man speak took in, processed, and retained the information here. After reading the book and explaining how he wrote it he asked the kids what it is that parrotfish eat. When he called on a girl with her hand in the air she said, with no hesitation, "Polyps." I exchanged glances with the grown-ups seated around me. Heck, I couldn't have told him that and I'd been listening the whole time. Kids: 1. Grown-up librarians: Zip Zero Zilch. Now I should note that the text in this book is very straightforward. The girl's journey doesn't enter into it. Chin is telling you about coral reefs straight on without prettying it up or doing much more than giving you the facts of the matter. Be aware.

When a kid gets an assignment in school to do a report on coral reefs, they're going to go to their local library looking for one of those perfectly nice but relatively dull books with lots of information and the occasional photograph of an octopus or a grouper. Chin's idea to couple his facts with a kid exploring them firsthand was one he used to great effect in the previous book "Redwoods". Like this book, that one showed a kid reading a book in a New York City (in that case, on a subway), emerging from the station into a world of enormous trees. Here our heroine is in NYPL's Rose Reading Room (meticulously and accurately rendered) when she is swept into an underwater world. For the images Chin uses the most delicate of watercolors. He's a master of them too. It can be no easy task to show what the underside of the ocean looking up might be, or to pinpoint what shadowed underwater light looks like. From the endpapers of the fishies to the animals you spot around the reef, Chin has taken his time with this book to make it absolutely marvelous. I think it took me several readings before I realized that like the squirrel companion in "Redwoods", here we have a crab companion for our heroine who crops up in various pictures from time to time.

I once gave a tour of the Rose Reading Room (the place where everything in this book starts) to a group of kids familiar with this book. I led the kids to the place where the book occurs so that they could stand there themselves. I held up the images, drawing the attention of children and tourists alike. If there is a flaw in the book it's that it shows the girl getting this very same book out of the Reading Room to read. That is untrue. To read this book you will have to go three floors down and enter the Children's Center. There you will find a copy ready and waiting for you. A copy that will tell you everything you ever wanted or needed to know about the vast, amazing, entrancing world of coral reefs and the creatures that make it their home. Gorgeous work. Great facts. A singular title.

For ages 5 and up.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful book Oct. 6 2013
By pirateteacher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Texas Blueboonet winner is a favorite in our classroom. The beautiful journey through various coral reefs is wonderful with great factual information for 5th grade students. This book woud be appropriate for 2nd - 6th also. Beautiful illustrations. I may have to buy another copy, because my students fight over who gets to read it daily.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Fabulous! Dec 14 2011
By mLee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is as beautiful as it is informative! Amazing, imaginative work. I am going to buy several for my nieces and nephews!


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