The subtitle of Play Bac Publishing's Incredible Ocean!--"Eye-opening Photos of Life Underwater"--is an understatement! This 96-page hardcover reference book features stunning four-color photographs of ocean life of all kinds, some of which our family had never seen or heard of before opening its pages.
Unlike other science books we have used in our homeschooling program, Incredible
Ocean! teaches primarily using photographs rather than text, which would make it ideal for visual learners. The 46 panoramic photographs in the book each spread across the width of almost two full pages, with narrow sidebars presenting fun facts, trivia, and statistics about each creature. The text descriptions are short--most only a few sentences long--but capture the reader's interest and provide enough details to tell readers what they're looking at and what habits or features make the creature intriguing.
A map feature is included at the bottom each page, and an arrow or band indicates the part of the world in which that animal, fish, or plant lives. You could find more details and more-technical information about each of the ocean creatures featured in Incredible
Ocean! online or in another book, but you wouldn't likely find such amazing photos of creatures like the brightly colored giant clam, the ethereal sea walnut, and the viperfish, which looks like something out of a horror movie!
The book is geared toward children ages 7 and up, but my 4-year-old loves it too and frequently reaches for it so that she can flip through the photos. Incredible
Ocean! could be used as a supplementary resource for any science curriculum, as a reference in your home library, or even as a coffee-table book.
The book includes an index, but to use it you might need to know an animal's specific name and not just the type of animal it is. For example, the book has no index entry for "conch," but it does for "queen conch shells." My 8-year-old daughter and I saw a documentary about cuttlefish and consulted the index to see if Incredible
Ocean! covered this unusual ocean dweller. We didn't see anything under "cuttlefish" but discovered an entry under "pharoah [sic] cuttlefish."
Incredible Ocean! is part of Play Bac Publishing's Incredible series, which also includes Incredible
Insects!, Incredible Earth!, and Incredible
Animals! The book costs $12.95 and would make a good addition to any homeschool science and nature collection.