The Tide Pool Waits

Holiday House/Neal Porter. Apr. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823449156.
K-Gr 2–Waves crash on shore and then recede, and in their wake a tide pool is formed. It is filled with wondrous creatures including barnacles, crabs, opaleyes, sea star, sculpin, octopus and more. Soon “the sea can’t resist the pull of the moon, the turn of the earth, the sun and the wind” and the waves “sweep towards shore.” As the tide pool once again become a part of the ocean, even more remarkable creatures can be seen, such as sea anemones, shrimp, and tubeworms, and the cycle is repeated. Fleming makes great use of action verbs, engaging descriptions, and just the right amount of repetition to draw readers into the tide pool and hold their interest. The dynamic text placement helps reinforce the movement of the ocean, while Hevron’s illustrations give life to the words and with every graceful overlay of line and wash, effectively depict the creatures and the ocean itself. The focus is on nature; humans are neither mentioned, seen, nor relevant. The back matter contains an illustrated guide to the creatures plus “Let’s Explore” and “Where Do They Live?” sections.
VERDICT This narrative nonfiction on Pacific Coast tide pools is a great read-aloud with text spacing and other cues to provide drama, a perfect accompaniment for the dramatic activity in the tide pool itself.

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