Friday, May 3, 2013

Shimmer & Splash Book Review

What it is
Shimmer & Splash is a children's book from Sterling Publishing about sea creatures, featuring 4 foldout pages that create huge ocean scenes!

Who wrote it
Jim Arnosky a naturalist and artist/illustrator of over 70 books! (PS: He has free coloring book pages on his website! Hurray!)

My thoughts
This book is so gorgeous! I wish every book had pictures as great as this. My 4th grade self kind of wants to tear carefully cut all the pages out, especially the dolphin one, and glue them to my binder. Since I'm now in my 20's and a mom and don't have a binder, I guess I'll leave them in the book.

Besides the pictures being so pretty that it could just be a coffee table book with no words, there is text! And it's not bad! Arnosky writes in the first person about a trip to the ocean he took to look at and draw the creatures in his book. Having a first person narrative that ties all the pages together is a refreshing change in a non-fiction kids' book and helped it not feel like an encyclopedia. Besides his personal notes, there's also lots of great information about the animals, and many of them are drawn full size. One of the coolest pages, in my opinion, is the shark page, which features life-size drawings of shark teeth plus awesome non-life-sized pictures of the entire sharks. My preschooler loved seeing that the tooth of a great white shark is bigger than any of his fingers!

Pretty much the only thing I didn't like was that he didn't include any sea otters (probably because his trip was in Florida instead of the west coast, and also in his defense he does have an entire book about river otters.) Despite its exclusion of my favorite animal, I am kind of obsessed with this book. I really can't believe I've never heard of Arnosky before, but don't worry-my next trip to the library will definitely include some of his other books!

My kid said
I like the sea creatures. And look how big this page gets, Mom! My favorite page is the shark page 'cause it's so interesting!

Pros
  • beautiful art work
  • compelling personal story
  • interesting scientific facts
Cons
  • no sea otters
Get it
You can buy Shimmer & Splash on Amazon for about $11 at time of posting, which is an amazing price for a kids' book this large (it's full-sized, not a little board book!), let alone one of this caliber.*

The bottom line
A gorgeous, must have book for preschoolers and elementary school kids who are interested in sea creatures!

Thank you to Sterling Publishing for providing a review copy of this book! I received no other compensation for this post.
*Always check current prices before buying, as they do change quickly on Amazon!



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