Posts tagged ‘octopus’

FOREVER FRIENDS

The Mermaid Tales: Celia’s Best Friends

Written by Chloe Sanders

Celia,pic

Celia is a friendly mermaid who enjoys splashing in the water, while she plays and sings with her friends. She lives in the City of Pearl. Celia has lots of ocean friends like Ophelia the Octopus and Billy the Fish. While playing hide and seek with Billy, they come across Squatina the Shark bullying a white clownfish. Celia, who wants to be friends with everyone, devises a strategy to outsmart the shark and teach her a lesson. Squatina learns the real reasons behind her bullying, and finds ways to be a friend instead.

This early chapter book contains approximately thirty-six pages with a few color illustrations of the characters in action to move the plot along. Early readers learn some valuable life lessons while reading. Short enough to be a bedtime story. I read the kindle version. My rating would be higher if not for the numerous errors in formatting; words run into each other with no spacing. I did not read the paperback edition and cannot say whether the errors are present in that edition. It is a bit difficult to read, particularly for independent readers who have reading or learning disabilities.

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A SEA-SATION!

The Dragon Dreamer

Written and illustrated by J.S. Burke

DragonsandDreamers,pic

The author of this book is multi-talented. She is a marine biologist, teacher, chemist, artist and geologist. In this book targeted for middle grade students, she somehow manages to weave these disparate elements together in a well-written educational fantasy adventure.

The story shifts between two groups: the golden dragons who are in danger because their life-giving copper supplies are running low, and the octopuses who live on undersea reefs. The main protagonists, Arak, the dragon, and Scree, the octopus healer, will be thrown together by a chance accident. They will work together first as trading partners and later as loyal friends. Each of them will lead their people to safety as they face extinction. Though they speak different languages, they learn to communicate. Burke does a masterful job of character development by uniquely combining the elements of caring, cooperation, romance and diversity. She successfully weaves together an intricate plot that celebrates diversity and intertwines ancient myths and legends with the scientific facts of marine biology.

Readers are taken on an exciting page turning adventure in which you empathize with characters as they face each new obstacle. At the same time, almost without realizing it, you are learning about the food chain, volcanoes, sharks and giant squid. The glossary included at the end is a nice resource for the scientific background. Targeted for readers ages nine and older, the book has a wider appeal for young adult and even adult audiences. A book that entertains while providing an education is a welcome addition to any bookshelf. Highly recommended !

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THESE MOMS ROCK!

Incredible Animal Moms: Exploring Our Incredible World Series

Written by Mark Smith

Animal Moms pic

This fifty six page book is another book in the exploring our world series. This volume focuses on the unique relationship between animal moms and their young. Smith has selected twenty animals; some are common but many are unique. He gives the reader just enough information to create a comprehensive portrait of the mother-child relationship and its uniqueness in the animal world. Each of them is accompanied by a photograph to illustrate the synopsis. The reader will be encouraged to pick out favorites and research other aspects of that animal’s life. Children aged eight and up might read the book independently. Younger children will enjoy an adult reading it aloud in several parts. Anyone who reads the book will learn something new; I know that I acquired a lot of new information. Did you know that a newborn elephant weights 250 pounds and that a mother elephant is pregnant for 22 months? All the female members of the herd live as one family and protect it.

Some animal moms and babies are remarkably similar to humans. They even look and act like us. These animals are extremely smart; they make their own tools which they use to find food. Some have even mastered how to use sign language to communicate with humans. The orangutan mom spends six or seven years teaching her babies survival skills. She teaches them how to make a new bed of leaves each night. Unfortunately, orangutans are disappearing because humans have cut down the trees they need for their habitat. The cow mother also is similar to a human mother. She will have a bond with her calf for life and socializes with her young throughout her life. The mother will travel for miles to find a calf that strays from the herd.

There are some animals that are very different from humans. You probably know that an octopus mom has eight arms, but did you know that each of them has a suction cup to move and catch food.? They are able to camouflage themselves and completely disappear. They also have a bird’s beak which they use to eat their food. An octopus mom has only one chance to have babies. She will lay as many as 200,000 eggs! For one month until they hatch, she stands guard for predators and does not eat. Some of these moms get so hungry that they eat their own arm rather than allow the eggs to go unguarded! Seahorse moms do not do any of the work in having babies. She chooses one mate, and lays all of her eggs in the dad’s pouch. He carries them until they hatch. He has a special hormone in his body to protect the eggs and give the eggs everything they require.

Some animals are beautiful and dangerous at the same time. The Strawberry Poison Frogs are brightly colored. They can be red, blue, green or spotted. They get their poison from the things they eat. These frogs are only about one inch long, but their bright color is a warning not to eat them. The mother lays about five eggs. When they hatch into tadpoles, she carries one at a time up a tree that may be 100 feet high and places it into a small pool she has made in its leaves. She feeds each one of her own eggs until they are fully grown. Pretty incredible for such a small creature!

I have only talked about a few of these incredible moms. Read this well written and illustrated non fiction book to find out much more extraordinary information about our animal world.

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