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Gone Fishing: Ocean Life by the Numbers by David McLimans
Review by Gayle Surrette
Walker Books for Young Readers Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780802797704
Date: 16 September 2008 List Price $16.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Gone Fishing: Ocean Life By The Numbers by David McLimans is a oceanography based counting book. The ocean life-forms were chosen for their ability to look like numbers. The book counts from 1 to 10 then breaks for some ocean facts in multiples of ten, and then counts again from 10 to 1. There is then a section that covers each of the ocean going creatures in a bit more detail, a page on our planet's oceans, some information on threats to the oceans and a list of organizations, web sites, and books for further reading and information.

When I first looked at the book's cover, I wasn't sure what to expect, but any book that uses simple counting to highlight the creatures that live on, in, or around the ocean just might help children get interested in science. On reading through the book, I discovered that the book can be used on several levels. I learned some interesting facts that I hadn't known before I read the book. I was also reminded of some information that I'd known and forgotten.

For the very young child, the illustrations on the counting up and down would be entertaining enough. Illustrations are in blue, black and white on a blue background. Text is either white on blue or black on blue -- but I found it comfortable to read.

A bit older child would find the side notes to be interesting. For each creature, the Latin name is given, the class name, a bit about habitat, the aquatic regions where the creature can be found, a listing of any threats, and the status (endangered or not).

I keep using the term creatures because, while the title of the book is Gone Fishing, it contains information on a wider variety of creatures -- fish, birds, mammals, etc that live and interact with our oceans. A partial list of the creatures used includes: African Penguin, Humpback Whale, Sea Lamprey, Antarctic Krill, Black--Browned Albatross, Splitfin Flashlightfish, Oarfish, Carnation Coral, and Giant Tube Worm.

I found the book fascinating and informative. Young people and adults who like the ocean might find some new facts and information as well as an interesting approach to a child's counting book.

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