An Ocean Food Chain (Odysseys in Nature)

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9781628321425: An Ocean Food Chain (Odysseys in Nature)

A look at a common food chain in the Pacific Ocean, introducing the plankton that starts the chain, the killer whale that sits atop the chain, and various animals in between.

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Grade 5–8—Tarbox introduces ascending links of a food chain through well-written prose accompanied by striking, full-color photographs. For example, Ocean focuses on plankton, sardines, Pacific salmon, sea lions, and killer whales, providing facts about each topic as well as information about predator-prey relationships. The books assume a basic knowledge of the food-chain concept, since the same single-page generic explanation occurs at the start of each volume. Unfortunately, the interesting narrative flow is interrupted by spreads about other animals, which are more distracting than enlightening. Most problematic are the choices for Mountain. After establishing the Rocky Mountains as a focus, the main text concentrates on a food chain in that region. Oddly, the additional animals include the Andean condor, giant panda, and Himalayan snow leopard, resulting in a mix that makes the book difficult to recommend. The other two volumes might serve as supplementary resources for those with background knowledge of food chains. Arctic Tundra offers the most connections among the main food-chain explanations and the additional animals presented. None of the books have diagrams or maps.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
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