CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 11 . . . . November 11, 2011
In this re-edited and redesigned edition of Selina: An Atlantic Salmon, author Don Downer recounts the life story of an Atlantic salmon, from immovable egg to adventurous adult. The reader learns of the many obstacles – human-made and natural – that Selina experiences throughout her life, such as life-threatening encounters with ice fishers, poachers, and human debris, and the challenging interactions with her environment, including icebergs, difficult-to-navigate waters, and vicious predatory animals. While the negative impact of humans on Selina’s environment has its place in the story, it is –refreshingly – not over-emphasized, and the reader learns that the natural environment presents more significant challenges to a vulnerable fish than do humans.
Downer’s writing style is clear and comprehensible, yet challenging enough for readers in the recommended age range. Potentially difficult words, such as “homing instinct,” “kype,” and “parr marks,” are highlighted in bold, with extensive definitions provided within a five-page glossary near the back of the book. Some of the more challenging concepts or words are pictured, such as an illustration of an alevin which represents one of the stages in the salmon life cycle.
Roxy Garstad is a science librarian at MacEwan University in Edmonton, AB.
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