Gooey Jellyfish by Natalie Loomis (No Backbone! the World of Invertebrates series)


Loomis, Natalie. Gooey Jellyfish. Bearport Publishing, 2007. ISBN 978-1597165105. 24 pp.


Part of the No Backbone! series on invertebrates, Gooey Jellyfish presents facts about these spineless sea creations in clear short sentences, using analogies children will be familiar with, such as by defining size range from the size of a grape to the size of a person. Each two-page spread contains text on the left with a photo on the right, and an additional fact or two in a bubble. The information is arranged logically, first introducing the concept of invertebrates, then talking about jellyfish specifically, covering variety, how they eat, and how they sting.

Gorgeous full color photos show the range of size and color of jellies. Some have labels but none are captioned, although there is a long list of photo credits on the verso of the table of contents.  Vocabulary related to marine biology appears in bold, and are fully defined with both pictures and text, in a short glossary. The index is complete in scope, and three other titles appear in a list of further reading. The author thanks a consultant from the New England Aquarium, but no sources are cited.

Although too brief to be very useful for reports (there are over 2,000 species of jellyfish, and only the most dangerous one is named) this is a solid introduction to the subject, and a website for the series offers more information, such as what to do (or not do!) if you find a jellyfish washed up on land, and also has games and activities teachers may find useful, such as a fact sheet and crossword puzzle. Recommended for larger collections.

Review by Beth Gallaway

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