Kids' Book Review: Coral Reefs

Coral Reefs

By Jason Chin
Roaring Brook Press, 40 pages, $16, Ages 5–9

Jason Chin first mesmerized kids with Redwoods. Now he does it again with Coral Reefs, plunging readers into a kaleidoscopic underwater wonderland. A little girl finds a book in the library about these marine ecosystems and, as she delves deeper, her imagination runs wild. These industrious organisms gradually encroach on the girl’s surroundings, growing up walls and under tables, transforming the library into a full-blown reef. Swimming through the turquoise depths, the young blonde spies an acid-green moray eel, its slender body “perfectly adapted for navigating the narrow nooks and crannies of the reef,” and receives an octopus’s angry ink blast—a defense mechanism. She also learns about food chains by way of a shark chomping on a parrot fish whose last meal was at a coral buffet. Chin’s watercolor images are both stunning and realistic, doing justice to these “cities in the sea” that any dreamer can visit.

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