Review Blog

Mar 28 2018

Somewhere in the reef by Marcello Pennacchio

cover image

Ill. by Danny Snell. Scholastic, 2018. ISBN 9781760159894
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Themes: Great Barrier Reef, Sea creatures, Fish, Counting book. Using the rhyme, Over in the meadow, Pennacchio has developed a read aloud counting book that is infectiously entertaining and informative at the same time. Children will love hearing the straightforward rhyming pairs of lines, joining in as they realise that each pair is similar, repeating phrases in each doublet. Each set of four lines introduces a sea creature: dolphins, sea snakes, clown fish, eagle rays, giant clam, sea horses, jellyfish, turtles, crocodile and octopus. Each set of lines shows the offspring of the creatures, teaching a younger reader their correct name, and starting with the one dolphin (pup), on to the six seahorses (fry) leading up to the ten crabs. This counting book will delight readers as they see each of the creatures living on the Great Barrier Reef, showing the different environments each of the creatures inhabits. Snell has vividly brought the sea creatures to life, making them easy to recognise for younger readers, but giving enough detail for them to realise how involved and interrelated the animals on the reef are. Little eyes will thrill counting the numbers of the offspring, learning the particular name for each creature's babies, and love pointing out all the different aspects of each environment. They will love hearing the rhythm when it is read out loud, and recount the familiar lines with the older reader.
Fran Knight

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