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.
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. Visit her.
Goodreads: Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean
Series: Science Comics
Source: Publisher for Review
Publication Date: March 29, 2016
Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean is a quick and colorful introduction to coral reefs for children, or anyone interested in learning more corals. Narrated by a spunky fish, the book tackles both the broad and specific, beginning with definition of plants vs. animals and then getting into the gritty details of specific types of corals and types of fish that call the reefs home. The book’s visual aspect helps the information come alive and will bring out the budding scientist in readers.
The artwork is bold and bright, usually in cool colors since the action primarily happens in the ocean. There are just enough details in the drawings to make fine distinctions between different species of animals. I appreciated the art, but the words provide the momentum; I did not spend a lot of time examining particular panels in the book. Some have a touch of humor, however, and that’s worth looking out for, as well as some funny commentary occasionally at the bottom of the page.
Coral reefs have never been a specific interest of mine, but this is exactly the time of book I would have loved as a child. It will bear rereading and fuel obsession for children interested in the ocean who just want to store up all the facts they can. It also provides good overviews of broader scientific concepts like the animal classification system and food chains, which readers will be able to apply to other animals.
The book did surprise me with its dedication of whole chapters to 1) climate change and 2) caring for the environment because I was expecting a stronger focus on specifically coral reefs, and not so much a broad focus on how coral reefs are related to water and thus the entire environment. Yet perhaps it would have been more surprising if a children’s science book left out its obligatory call for kids to take their up their own role in recycling and saving the planet. My only hope is that this will not be a running them in the entire Science Comics series, simply because that would make the books read rather similarly. However, upcoming topics include dinosaurs, volcanoes, flying machines, and bats, which don’t seem naturally related to discussion of climate change. (Look for my review of the dinosaur book in the future!)
With its bright colors and perky narrator, Coral Reefs makes learning about the ocean a splash. Recommended for science fanatics and those looking to get more into comics.
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