If you're an elementary teacher who wants to provide sound scientific views within the context of high-interest ecological mysteries, this book is for you and your students. Sea Secrets: Tiny Clues to a Big Mysteries asks questions, provides observations and data, promotes discovery, and creates links using words and graphic contents. The text focuses on Cassin’s auklet (a seabird), whales, and penguins. It presents the animals as tiny mysteries with questions about the mysteries. Then the mysteries are described in words, photographs, and accurate pictures; observations will lead students to discovery of the links among the animals and environment. The mission of the series is evident: “Engaging children and their families in learning about the Earth’s ecosystem.”
Young readers ages 5 to 10 years old could read it independently, or the suspense of the mysteries could be shared in a whole-group setting. My six-year-old granddaughter and I read the book together. She was intrigued by the animals and content and made her own connections. Before we reached the final page she said, “It seems like everything in this and all of us are connected like a family.” Amazing!
This book provides an inquiry pathway for young children to make their own connections. This naturally happened for my granddaughter and me. In addition to the book's inquiry-structured content, there is a short, one-page matching exercise on the terms and illustrations of one of the animals’ food sources (krill). A glossary is provided along with a list of websites for further investigations. One highlight is the inclusion of the authors' photographs with brief, kid-friendly biographies. I highly recommend this book for the content, inquiry-based structure, ecological interdependence, and artwork. In addition, due to the fact that I have been asked to read this book with my granddaughter multiple times, I can highly recommend this from her point of view. It's a read-again book for both of us.