Thursday, August 13, 2015

Meet Me For Lunch? Fish Food by Andy Mansfield and Henning Lohlein



Sic transit sea worm!

What is a food chain? Well, for one thing, it's an important primary grade science concept. Anything and everything plays a powerful role in that process, as Andy Mansfield's intriguing and inventive Fish Food (Little Bee Books, 2015) makes clear. You might be on the bottom of the food chain, or you might be at the top of the food chain in your native ecology, but if we eat, we're all linked together in it.

Even lowly little sea worm, who gets chomped by a Nemo look-alike, has doubtless just chowed down on some plankton, and the little clownfish who eats him soon gets gulped by a bigger spotted fish, who in turn is preyed upon by Jaws II himself, who fills the page with a catastrophic super-sized CRUNCH!

Author Andy Mansfield, whose resume' identifies him as a "paper engineer," is the designer of the pop-up devices which portray and propel the jaws of the three predator fish, all just looking for the right bite, while artist Henning Lohlein is the creator of the deep-water setting and fish face illustrations that make this one an outstanding toy and movable book. Adding humor to the fun of each unfolding scene of opening and closing jaws are Mansfield's supporting cast of undersea bystanders, a little crab who's scuttled into a bottle with a relieved "Whew," a duo of clams that cry out "Here comes trouble!" a queasy eel who mutters "I can't look!" and some small fry who squeak"Time to go, Fred!" It's a visible and funny presentation of the marine food chain that will please toddlers and early readers alike.

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