Sunday, May 26, 2019

Picture Book Review: Seashells: more than a home by Melissa Stewart

Image: Charlesbridge

Seashells: more than a home by Melissa Stewart. Illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen. unpgd. Charlesbridge, April, 2019. 9781580898102. (Review of finished copy courtesy of publisher.)

Anyone who has visited the seashore has to notice what the tides wash up. These include sea weed, bits of wood, the occasional piece of sea glass, perhaps some litter and shells, both whole and in pieces. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Just what are these creatures? 

Melissa Stewart explains it all in this succinct, accessible text that combines narrative and expository nonfiction. The sentences that float across the tops of each spread describe the functions of seashells using similes. The expository part presents in a different font, color and size near the bottom. A few sentences provide more facts. Illustrations add to understanding. Each mollusk gets a double-page spread showing the animal in its environment in muted color. A sketch pad depicts a scientific drawing that highlights a concept.

Back matter lists the five largest groups of mollusks, bivalves, cephalopods, chitons, gastropods and scaphopods with more information about each group. Both the author and illustrator have notes that explain their love for seashells. There are three suggestions for further reading followed by a list of selected source by both author and illustrator. The decorated end-pages also adds to reader's knowledge by highlighting each mollusk's range and habitat. 

Seashells: more than just a home is a wonderful addition for any school or classroom library. It fits very nicely into the ocean biome part of science units. 

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