Keepers of the Reef

Tilbury. Apr. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9780884489047.
K-Gr 2–For newer readers, this title offers a close look at coral reefs and how to care for them. In full-page watercolor and pencil illustrations with a shot of sunlight to further illuminate the image, the book details how coral reefs are created and the kinds of creatures who live there. The focus is on the “keepers of the reef” who help protect it, such as the small parrotfish who scrape the turf algae from dead corals. The book also touches on the dangers that coral reefs face and how to protect them. Throughout the book, a silent white blonde girl and a light brown-skinned boy explore, with the girl’s wild wavy hair adding dimension to the water’s movement. The story ends rather abruptly, and after sharing some of the innovative ways people are helping reefs, readers are invited to assist, too. Back matter consists of a glossary, further reading, resource suggestions, and web links. A list offers suggestions for how to earn points for helping, although this is confusing. Children will appreciate the evocative illustrations and explanations in the book, but may be deterred by some verbose phrasing.
VERDICT A wordy guide with feasible recommendations for how to keep coral reefs in our world, this is an additional purchase.

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