Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Children's Book Review: Curious Critters Marine by David FitzSimmons

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from the author, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

Returning back to the sea today,
I have a new book that will delight kids and adults alike, 
and is PERFECT for Earth Day later this month!


Curious Critters: Marine features some of North America’s most incredible marine animals captured through the award-winning photography of David FitzSimmons. The amazing photographs depict 20 common and fascinating animals of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as the Gulf of Mexico. The subjects include a sleek black sea bass, a giant Pacific octopus, an incredible roseate spoonbill, and a one-in-a-million blue lobster, plus many more amazing creatures found along the coasts of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Fun and educational narratives accompanying each animal highlight fascinating natural history information, and a visual index, additional curious critter facts, silhouettes showing animal sizes, and a full glossary are also included.

If you heard a weird scream, it was when Miss Grace opened up the package with our review copy and she screamed, "Mr David Sent me his new book for my birthday!". She then promptly fled with the book! LOL
“Children are mesmerized as they stare eye-to-eye with a crab, a cormorant, or an octopus. I try to photograph the animals on eye-level so kids can connect emotionally with the critters,” said FitzSimmons. “The goal is to foster children’s biophilia—to get young readers to fall in love with nature.” He has succeeded with Miss Grace! Thanks to his book, she has NO qualms about getting up close and personal with any animal, insect or creature! She sees them as unique and intriguing:

curious creatures marine calico crab

A crabby calico crab bemoans his thankless role as a detritivore: “I’m the one down here devouring loads of decaying debris, and nobody applauds my efforts. Without recyclers like me, can you imagine what the ocean would look like? Why, we’d be wallowing in whale waste and covered in crumbling kelp. Course Miss Grace, being a Southern girl, had to ask- "Can we eat him?". It took some internet surfing to verify, yes you can, but better to let them be nature's garbage man! 

curious creatures marine cushion sea star

The cushion sea star, serenades readers with stanzas set to “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

Look at me, a bright sea star,
out beyond the big sand bar.
Crawling in the shallow sea,
tiny tube feet carry me
out to join a galaxy
of sea stars that look like me.

The Pencil Urchin freaked her out everytime she looked at it- it looks like a SPIDER!

She adored being able to READ the whole book by herself, just needing help on bigger words. Did you hear my hallalauh of joy? Anything that gets her reading out loud willing is an A+ in my book! She laughed herself silly over the Roseate Spoonbill and how he gets pinker!

I was getting a lecture her- she had to tell me all about the Red Lionfish!

that is what i love about these books, they instill knowledge and create a need to learn more in my child! We love using the additional material in the back of the books, like the Life-Size Silhouettes page to play games, so that she can recall what she has learned. She loved learning more in the Natural History page, like that the Atlantic horseshoe crabs have blue blood ("eewww, we need to find one!"), that tufted puffins may carry up to sixty fish in their beaks at once ("Wow that's HEAVY!"), and that California sea cucumbers eat with their mouths and their rear ends ("OK, 
now that's just gross!")!

 This third book in the Curious Critters series, is being released on April 22, Earth Day! But we highly recommend getting books 1 and 2 and adding them to your kid's Easter baskets! They are books that that keep on giving with their fun text, amazing photos and great tidbits! You'll want them all on your resource shelf!

Be sure to check out the Curious Critters website for coloring pages, word games, silhouette games and more, to add to your kids' experiences with the books! There are also teacher guides, to help using the books to meet different science protocols!  You can also see new pictures, before they make it into the next book!

So no foolin', check out these great books, and put this one on the wish list for Summer adventure!

About the Author:
David FitzSimmons is an award-winning free-lance photographer and writer. David photographs and writes for various magazines, including Outdoor PhotographerShutterbug, Popular Photography, and Professional Photographer. His 100+ calendar credits include numerous titles by BrownTrout and Barnes & Noble. David’s most recent publications include Animals of Ohio’s Ponds and Vernal PoolsCurious Critters, which has won five national book awards and sold over 100,000 copies to-date, and Curious Critter Volume Two, as well as audiobooks for both Curious Critters
 titles. Forthcoming is Salamander Dance (Spring 2016), a children’s picture book exploring the annual life cycle of vernal pools, and the first two board books, Curious Critter Ohio and Curious Critters Michigan.

One of seven Sigma Pro photographers in North America, David presents seminars and workshops to a wide variety of audiences, from public school, college, and university classes to photography groups and civic organizations. His works have been exhibited at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, the National Center for Nature Photography, and the Telluride Photo Festival.
Before becoming a freelance photographer and author, David taught for over twenty years, first as high school English teacher and then as a university professor, having instructed at Ashland University, Ohio State University, and Cornell University. He holds a Ph.D. in English from Ohio State, with a specialty in narrative theory—investigating the components of storytelling—something that influences his photography and writing. Learn more about David at  


  1. My son loves marine animals I'll have to look for this book.

  2. This looks like a terrific colorful book with super illustrations for children. Enjoyable and educational as well.
    twinkle at optonline dot net


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