Dr. Helen Scales (author), Marcel George (illustrator) / Laurence King Publishing / 200 pages
Around the Ocean in 80 Fish & Other Sea Life is a beautifully illustrated journey that introduces readers to various inhabitants of the five oceans. Each turn of the page reveals a new animal—with short, informative text on each species framed by original, visually stunning watercolors by contemporary artist Marcel George. Creatures featured in the book range from small cone snails and money cowries to large sperm whales and tiger sharks; from well-known sponges and Atlantic bluefin tuna to lesser-known noble pen shells, ninja lanternsharks, and eyelash harptail blennies.
As described on the dust jacket, the book is a “gorgeous celebration of our watery world.” Dr. Helen Scales—author, marine biologist, Cambridge University professor, and lifelong scuba diver—highlights unique features and provides interesting anecdotes related to each animal. However, this book is also a historical account of how humans have used—and continue to use—the bodies of each featured animal for food, art, physical adornment, currency, or even contraception. Scales describes these uses with sensitivity and appropriate concern for the welfare of the animals.
Around the Ocean in 80 Fish & Other Sea Life is a fantastic book for anyone interested in animals; it is sure to pique the interest of any budding marine biologist, nature enthusiast, or coffee-table book aficionado.