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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Did you know that a green sea turtle has a brown shell? But its skin is green, so perhaps that’s how it was named. And green sea turtles can hold their breath for a very long time. Remarkable. So is the fact that there is such a thing as a porcupine fish that acts just like a porcupine when faced with danger. And then there’s the parrot fish, the leafy sea dragon, the lion fish and the yellow box fish. Yes, there is a fish that’s shaped like a box. It’s rather tough and not very palatable. My favorite is the Picasso Triggerfish probably named after the great abstract artist because of its brilliantly colorful skin. This fish has another interesting name: humuhumu-nukunuku-apua’a, which is quite a mouthful to articulate, but we can have fun trying. There are many interesting sea creatures that live in the coral reefs. But, sadly, this sea life is endangered as pollution overtakes the waters and unrecycled plastics invade the sea life, causing irreparable damage.
Eve Heidi Bine-Stock’s picture book, Coral Reef Animals Book 2: Vertebrates, is a treasure. The multiple sea creatures are colorfully illustrated and their appearance and habitat cleverly described in rhyming verse. Young readers will certainly enjoy this remarkable little book. The book illustrates and describes both the well known, like the seahorse, and the lesser known, like the stone fish. Fascinating details about each creature are charmingly revealed in this poetic dissertation for young readers. The book ends with a cautionary note to encourage young readers to want to take care of the coral reefs and to recycle wisely and effectively.