Thursday, April 10, 2008

Nonfiction That Makes the Grade: Oceans Alive Series

Scholastic Press, long a major player in the educational publishing field, has a developing series aimed at the early reader, from emergent to fluent independent levels in the primary grades. Their Oceans Alive series is a part of the five levels of Blastoff Readers which highlights popular marine animals with texts with Accelerated Reader levels ranging from 1.7 to 2.2. Sentence structure is simple and vocabulary is controlled, with new topical words presented in boldface, and also listed in the book's glossary. Illustrated with glowing closeup photos of a wide range of appealing sea animals, kids are sure to be drawn to the subject of each book.

One of the 2008 additions to the series is Parrotfish (Blastoff! Readers: Oceans Alive), which describes the different coloration of juvenile and mature parrotfish and provides up close and personal views of those famous coral-nipping teeth. The simple text also describes the amazing process by which parrotfish convert the coral which they ingest in the process of harvesting algae for food into the sparkling white sand which covers some of the the world's favorite beaches.

Each book features near full-page color photos on each page or as double-page spreads, a glossary of special terms used in the text, a bibliography of related books as well an umbrella website linking to further web sources, and an index.

Among the twenty titles in this series are such kid-pleasing subjects as Clown Fish (Blastoff Readers: Oceans Alive) (Blastoff Readers: Oceans Alive) (Blast Off! Readers 2: Oceans Alive), Stingrays (Blastoff Readers: Oceans Alive) (Blastoff Readers: Oceans Alive) (Oceans Alive),Sea Dragons (Blastoff Readers: Oceans Alive) (Blastoff Readers: Oceans Alive) (Blastoff Readers: Oceans Alive), Dolphins (Blastoff! Readers) (Oceans Alive) (Oceans Alive), and Jellyfish (Oceans Alive) (Oceans Alive) (Oceans Alive).

With appealing subjects and irresistible photos, the Oceans Alive series is a sure kid-pleaser which will spark further reading, aquariums visits, science projects, and an ongoing interest in marine ecology for beginning readers. And with a cuddly plush clown fish, these books make a great birthday gift.

Labels: ,


  • It is wonderful to read your positive review of Oceans Alive! Although Scholastic sells the BlastOff! Readers
    series, they are actually published by Bellwether Media, a relatively new children's publisher focusing on non-fiction for the early reader.

    I, too, will soon be a retired librarian AND will begin the next chapter (mid-60's) by working with Bellwether in Minneapolis. It is very encouraging to read your words about their product.

    Bravo on this blog -well done!

    By Blogger Kathie, at 2:25 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home