Clownfish Aren't So Funny: Fascinating Facts about Some of the Ocean’s Most Misunderstood Creatures

Image of Clownfish Aren't So Funny: Fascinating Facts about Some of the Ocean's Most Misunderstood Creatures
Author(s): 
Release Date: 
May 7, 2019
Publisher/Imprint: 
Sterling Children's Books
Pages: 
32
Reviewed by: 

This book is perfect for any budding marine biologist, science lover, ocean aficionado, or curious kid. It belongs in all school libraries from Hawaii to Iowa.”

Clownfish Aren’t So Funny is a stunning book in its color and in its closeup photographs. It takes a close look at 18 sea creatures with colorful enlarged photographs.

The backgrounds are colors with the text in white print. The animals include sea horses, crabs, shrimp, eels, worms, and an octopus. Each creature gets one page, and if the photo is smaller, there is also a box of extra facts about the animal.  Five animals get these extra facts: clownfish, cuttlefish, frogfish, jawfish, and mantis shrimp.

The beauty of the book is really in the photographs, many with dark backgrounds since they are taken in the deep. Most are in sharp focus with a couple that are a bit blurred. The fact that these are taken on site excuses those two. Keri Wilk is credited with nine of the photos, and Matt Weiss, the author, is credited with the other nine photos. There is no dust jacket, but the title is shiny on the matte cover along with the clownfish.

The text is conversational with interesting trivia such as many of the animals are no bigger than a golf ball. Weiss starts some sentences with “well, so, no, and don’t try” as if in a chatty conversation with the reader. He poses questions.  Except for an overuse of adverbs (appropriately, definitely, just, almost, amazingly, exclusively, luckily, rarely) the prose reads well with solid information.  This is most obvious in the sentence, “A pygmy seahorse is definitely appropriately named!”

Weiss uses you to emphasize his conversation with the reader. “So if you see this octopus, think twice before getting too close to its blue spots.” “With a name like ghost pipefish, you might think this is a spooky animal.” “You’ll only laugh at a mantis shrimp once.”

Weiss touches on climate change on his last page. “Global warming has made the ocean too warm for many reefs, creating what’s known as coral bleaching . . .”

There is an “about the author” page and an index page. The end papers have one side orange and the other side an extra photo of a seahorse (front) and a clownfish (back). The colors pop all the way through the book.

This book is perfect for any budding marine biologist, science lover, ocean aficionado, or curious kid. It belongs in all school libraries from Hawaii to Iowa.

All in all, this book is a keeper and a must-have for every bookshelf for kids ages six to ten.