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Ocean [With Clip-Art CD and Poster]

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Gr 4-6‘Two-page entries illustrated with bright, full-color photographs introduce the world's oceans. Although the illustrations are sharp and clear, the text sometimes lacks depth, focus, and clarity as the author attempts to include something about almost everything connected to the subject. For example, in the ``Waves and Weather'' section, an El Niño and onshore and offshore breezes are not adequately explained. There are also serious omissions. Jacques Cousteau is never mentioned in ``Diverse Divers,'' nor is Sylvia Earle included in the section on deep dives. Auguste Picard, significant contributor to the design of the deep-diving bathyscaphe, is omitted from ``Ocean Explorers.'' So many visual images compete for attention on every page that the impact of the dramatic representations is lost. Browsing through these fully packed pages and dipping here and there into the text can be fun, but for entertainment, Joanna Cole's The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor (Scholastic, 1992) presents basic facts in an entertaining narrative. Other fine introductions include Martyn Bramwell's The Oceans (Watts, 1994) and Seymour Simon's Oceans (Morrow, 1990).‘Frances E. Millhouser, Chantilly Regional Library, VA

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