CM . . . .
Volume VI Number 12 . . . . February 18, 2000
What are sea otters? Sea otters are mammals. They are warm-blooded. A mammal's body temperature stays the same in both warm and cold surroundings. Mammals have fur or hair. A baby mammal feeds on its mother's milk. Sea otters are marine mammals. They live only in salt water. Dolphins and whales are also marine mammals.Sea Otters will just have to be seen to be sold to young readers. The attractive design, the engaging photographs of the ultra-cute otters themselves and the extra visual features of drawings scattered throughout make this an attractive package. Colours recall the sea with blues, purples and greens set as a frame to each photograph. The borders are wide and enhanced by the addition of the extra drawings, mostly bubbles, which add to the feeling of the wet and wonderful ocean life experienced by the otters.
The visual appeal of this book will attract children; the information will satisfy the adult who is the more likely critic of content. Kalman has used a formalized approach to the subject, including a list of contents under the title, "What is in this book?" Topics include: The otter family tree; A sea otter's body; and Where do sea otters live? The book covers a range of natural history information and concludes with environmental awareness and protection of the sea otter. Kalman ends Sea Otters with a glossary of "Words to Know" as well as an index to topics.
Design elements which assist the young reader include the use of bold typeface, not only for key words, but in the index, for the first letter in each alphabetical category. Although the book is probably going to be found by the parent/child pair who are pursuing natural history interests, it will be useful in another guise to librarians. The fact that the book is so well organized and accessible means that it will have another life as a source for students whose reading and/or language skills is/are not a match for the standards of science project assignments. If older children can be convinced to borrow the item, even though it is "young" in its look, they will have a factual and accurate outline of the life of the sea otter.
Jennifer Johnson works as a librarian in Ottawa, ON.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association.
Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice
is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.