Title: Science Comics: Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean
Author: Maris Wicks
Publisher: First Second
Publication date: March 29, 2016
Genres: Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Science
Source: Finished copy for review from publisher
Every volume of Science Comics offers a complete introduction to a particular topic–dinosaurs, coral reefs, the solar system, volcanoes, bats, flying machines, and more. These gorgeously illustrated graphic novels offer wildly entertaining views of their subjects. Whether you’re a fourth grader doing a natural science unit at school or a thirty-year-old with a secret passion for airplanes, these books are for you! This volume: in Coral Reefs, we learn all about these tiny, adorable sea animals! This absorbing look at ocean science covers the biology of coral reefs as well as their ecological importance. Nonfiction comics genius Maris Wicks brings to bear her signature combination of hardcore cuteness and in-depth science.
I bought this book along with me to babysit a few weeks ago, and as soon as the seven year old (let’s call him Fox) saw it, he said, “No, not a chapter book!” I explained that it wasn’t a chapter book, and opened up to a random page. His eyes got so big and he shouted, “It’s a comic book!!!” He immediately demanded that we read it before bedtime.
Here’s what we thought…
There is a wordy intro by a marine scientist that Fox wasn’t interested in, but I read it myself after the kids went to bed and it’s a great introduction to coral reefs and their importance.
The illustrations are fun and entertaining.There is a little yellow fish with glasses that is basically the narrator/teacher of the book and Fox had fun finding him hidden in various panels throughout the book. The pictures have enough details to be realistic, but still cartoonish enough to keep kids interested.
Here’s a peek at some of the art:
This book took Fox and I over 30 minutes to read, and not once did he comment that he was bored or wanted to read something else. We didn’t read every single word on the page (I was trying to get him to go to sleep after all!), but we read a good 75% of the content. Fox got a kick out of listening to me try to pronounce some of the more difficult, scientific names of things. I was impressed at how much information the author was able to fit into such a small book, yet still keep it interesting for kids. I think Fox and I could have read this book multiple times over and learned something new every time.
I wasn’t expecting this to be such a fun read, but there were multiple pages that got Fox and I both giggling. The teacher fish wears a Hawaiian print shirt and drinks a lemonade while talking about different climates; when talking about the health of the planet, the earth suddenly has arms and big muscled; after introducing itself, a Disco Clam shares that it likes to “get down and boogie” and a footnote at the bottom of the page assures us that there has been no “research on the effects of dance music on marine life.”
As a teacher, it’s a constant struggle to find non-fiction books that kids enjoy reading, so I’m really excited about this one and other upcoming books in the series. There is already another title about dinosaurs, and on another night, Fox found it equally enthralling. I can’t wait to share these books with my students and show them that learning and science can be fun and interesting. Each season a new volume will be released, with Volcanoes slated for release this fall.
About the Author:
Maris Wicks lives in sunny Somerville, Massachusetts. She is the author behind Human Body Theater, as well as the illustrator of New York Times-bestselling Primates, with Jim Ottaviani. When she’s not making comics, Wicks works as a program educator at the New England Aquarium. She is quite fond of being in the water, whether it’s swimming in ponds or scuba diving in the Atlantic Ocean.
Be sure to check out the rest of the awesome bloggers on the tour:
|Name||Blog/Website/Library/School/Etc||Date of Post (April)|
|Briana||Pages Unbound (http://pagesunbound.wordpress.com)||12|
|Kaitlyn H||No blog but Twitter.com/achubbybookworm||20|
I received this book from First Second in exchange for an honest review.