Hidden Habitats: Water by Lily Murray, illustrated by Lara Hawthorne

Hidden Habitats: Water by Lily Murray, illustrated by Lara Hawthorne. Big Picture Press, 2021. 9781536219944

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover

What did you like about the book? This is a stylish interactive book about habitats in unexpected, out of the way watery places. Each of the eight habitats, from tide pool and mangrove tree to hydrothermal vent and coral reef cleaning station, offers a look at life cycles, predators, decomposers, animal homes and symbiotic relationships. With more than seventy flaps, the book will prompt readers to test their knowledge about unusual species, their young and the unique properties of the habitat.

Appealing digital art renders the habitats and their denizens in a simplified realistic style, and the text will appeal to young naturalists who like to learn scientific terms. I was intrigued by the “Irish Peat Bog” section, as I had never considered what was living there (frogs, dragonflies, and other insects, not to mention the otters, hares and birds that hunt for food.) I think kids will be fascinated by the “Coral Reef Cleaning Station” section, where fish and other “customers” from around the reef come for their habitual grooming by other species. This title is a jumping off place that will prompt kids to be discerning observers of nature.

Anything you didn’t like about it? The numerous flaps do not appear to be sturdy enough for extended use.

To whom would you recommend this book?  For ages 5-8. A browsable title to have on hand in classrooms and libraries

Who should buy this book? An additional purchase for elementary school and public libraries.

Where would you shelve it ? 591.7

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: January 18, 2022

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