Friday, July 27, 2007

Creatures from Inner Space: The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss by Claire Nouvain

For an eye-goggling, mind-boggling look at some of the amazingly grotesque and exquisitely beautiful creatures of the ocean depths, take a look at Claire Nouvain's recently published The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss.

In what Andrew Robinson of Literary Review has called "a modern classic of natural history," Nouvain has utilized the advances in recent deep-water exploration technology to assemble a large-format book which glows with over 200 color photographs of little-known (and some yet unnamed) creatures of the deepest regions of the world's oceans. In their dazzling colors, morphologies not even imagined in Star Wars, and variety of adaptations to the biological imperatives of nutrition and reproduction, Just to look upon these animals expands our concept of life.

Reviewer Eric Ormsby describes these incredible photos as "like a series of underwater mug shots crafted by Faberge'." Along with eight photos of creatures who have no name, there are shots of giant squids the size of a barge, giant vent worms, dumbo and glass octopi, frilled sharks, furry lobsters, naked sea butterflies, and pigbutt worms. The prints of bioluminescent and and transparent animals are spellbinding. There are also sections on the little-known life which exists around deep sea hydrothermal and methane vents. Six-year-olds will be drawn to the photos of creatures more bizarre than any Pokemon creation, and older readers can skim the captions or go as far as their interests may take them into this volume.

The Deep has not been received just as a compendium of "ohmygosh" photos, however. Reviewers have applauded Nouvain's extensive informative text and captions and her generous utilization of fifteen eminent scientists who wrote evocative essays explaining life in the ocean abyss. Says Jon Copley of New Scientist, "Words and images combine to convey what we know and how much we don't know about life in our planet's largest habitat." And regarding that exploration of our "inner space," Robert Ballard says, "We must remember that a great deal of unfinished business remains here on earth."

And, judging from what this book reveals, what an exciting, inviting business it will be!

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    By Blogger Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, at 11:38 AM  

  • Dear Librarian:

    My cousin and best friend died several years ago, leaving behind two brand new grand babies. I love her children dearly as if they were my own grandchildren, but hesitate to intrude. There are now six little ones ranging in ages from 3-10. I have sent subscriptions to the popular children's magazine service, but would like to know other books to send on other days of the year. My husband and I are both college graduates, but the parents of these children are not. However, they are very devout in a Baptist type of religion, so I must be careful not to offend, but I do want to introduce them to wonderful literature, science, and math. Any suggestions you have will be treasured!

    Thank you,

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:12 PM  

  • Dear Anonymous,
    Can you tell me their genders and if possible, what their reading interest may be? That would help.

    Also please go to my blog at www.booksforkidsblog.blogspot and scroll down through my various reviews or use the search line in the upper left corner with the big "B". I have books by general subjects and by age.

    By Blogger GTC, at 12:26 PM  

  • "In their dazzling colors, morphologies not even imagined in Star Wars, and variety of adaptations to the biological imperatives of nutrition and reproduction, these animals expand our concept of life just to look upon them."

    I'm confused---what does morphology (the study of words and word-formation) have to do with either life in the abyss or Star Wars? Is this merely a typo?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:55 PM  

  • Morphology= study of shape and form of things in general.

    By Blogger Chip Ahoy, at 9:16 PM  

  • Thanks, Chip ahoy.

    You're right. Anonymous, I meant the more specific biological definition: THE FORM AND STRUCTURE OF AN ORGANISM OR ANY OF ITS PARTS, from the more general definition, re: BRANCH OF BIOLOGY THAT DEALS WITH THE FORM AND STRUCTURE OF ANIMALS AND PLANTS (Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed.)

    By Blogger GTC, at 8:21 PM  

  • Thank you for your interest.They are:
    Boy 9 (just lost his wonderful,dynamic and intelligent young mom to cancer)

    Girl 9 (very interested in science and girl things)

    Boy 7 (hearing problem)
    Boy 4
    Girl 9
    Boy 6

    Hope that helps. Thank you so much for your help!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:23 AM  

  • Dear Anonymous 12:23,
    I'm leaving early tomorrow on a four-day trip with my granddaughter. I'll try to help you with your requests when I get back.

    However, for the nine-year-old boy, I just read and will later post a review on a good book for him, Betty Hick's I SMELL LIKE HAM. Despite the title, (the boy's new stepmom gives him organic clove shampoo) it's a sensitive story of a boy grieving his mother's death, adjusting to his father's remarriage, and dealing with his guy friends and sports at the same time.

    By Blogger GTC, at 8:14 PM  

  • Dear Anonymous 12:23,
    I hope you checked back for my recommendation for your 9-year-old friend. Also take a look at the reviews of Andrew Clements' NO TALKING and the other Clements books I suggested and my post on THE GREAT MOSQUITO, BULL, AND COFFIN CAPER by Nancy Lamb. There are a lot of choices if you search the site under FANTASY or ADVENTURE STORIES, to name a few.

    For the girl I would recommend the Phyllis Reynolds Naylor ALICE MCKINLEY series, starting with BEGINNING WITH ALICE and ALICE IN BLUNDERLAND and perhaps MILLICENT MIN, GIRL GENIUS.

    I'll get back to with you more recommendations. Best wishes and bless you!

    By Blogger GTC, at 5:48 PM  

  • Hello again:

    Yes, I have checked back and made a note of your wonderful recommendations--thank you so much.

    Don't forget my little friends, and if you happen to think of anything else please don't hesitate to post them. I am at:
    Thank you again,

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:24 AM  

  • Annelee,
    I sent further recommendations as email. I hope some of these are what you need.

    By Blogger GTC, at 9:14 PM  

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