November 11, 2016
Giant Squid by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann
It is difficult for scientists to learn about an animal that lives deep in the ocean but Fleming Shares what they have managed to piece together about this mysterious animal. She discusses where they live, basic squid anatomy, why their eyes are so big, how and what they eat and more. The text is simple and straight-forward without being overly short.
Rohman’s oil paintings perfectly depict the dark depths that the squid calls home. He also succeeds in making the creature look sinous and alive. It might seem that there isn’t much of interest to illustrate when you are showing a squid in water on one spread and water with a squid in it on the next. Rohman overcomes this by focusing in one whatever is being discussed, giving the reader a close-up view of young squid being pursued as prey, an adult squid capturing a fish, and another of the squid’s hooked beak.
If you aren’t in the publishing business you may not appreciate the unique book design as much as I do. Three full spreads before the title page share information about the squid. There is also a marvelous, wordless, fold out, two page spread. The first illustrations shows the giant squid barely visible within an ink cloud. Fold the pages out and you see the squid that is hidden by the ink.
Probably my favorite part of the book is found in the backmatter where a line drawing defines and depicts the various parts of a squid’s anatomy. I knew mantle, beak, eyes and tentacles but I had no clue that that adorable but goofy fin near the back are called stabilizing fins. And that bit that looks something like an exhaust pipe? That’s the funnel.
There is also additional information about giant squid, a bibliography and where to find more information on-line.
Share this book with your young nature lover in your life.