By Becky Hong
Atlas of Ocean Adventures By Emily Hawkins, Illustrated by Lucy Leatherland
When we first picked up this book, I thought, “Eek, this is huge!” My son is almost 4 and a half, so I thought this was going to be too dense of a text for him. I was completely wrong! This book is FANTASTIC and he has been infatuated with it from day 1.
The chapters are divided by Ocean which right from the start helps your kiddo start thinking globally. The book then tackles a few animals from each ocean, but they integrate a bunch of other animals into each dedicated animal page. For example, pages 38-39 about the Whale Sharks in Mexico talk all about these fascinating sharks and why they migrate to Isla Mujeres each summer. But it also has little blurbs about the Spotted Eagle Ray, the Blue Marlin, and Tuna as well.
The pages are laid out so perfectly for little readers. There’s the main text, and then informational tidbits streaming throughout the illustrations so you constantly have something to look at and read. The layout is also great because you could find an animal in the beginning and just read that page, not having to read through an entire chapter or section to get some good knowledge out of it.
Now, can we talk about these illustrations?! These are the happiest, silliest, and yet realistic animals! They are fun and gorgeous, but pretty accurate at the same time. You can’t help getting caught up in the colors and scenery that they create. If your kiddo has to do a report on an animal, this might be just the book you need to help them find a new exciting creature to learn about.
Oh wait, the funs not over yet! At the very end of the book, there’s a “can you find” section. Can you find the Penguin with a swim cap in Argentina? It’s like Where’s Waldo? (remember those?!) The book shows you the image, then you can go back to that page and try to find the image selected. Aren’t you dying to go back to Cocos Island to find the Hammerhead Shark holding a bouquet of flowers now?
I really hope you enjoy this book as much as we have. It’s perfect for young minds just starting to realize how big the world is, beginning readers wanting to get caught up in an underwater world, and it’s great for bigger siblings who want to help read to their younger pre-reader family.