All summer I’ll be sharing books for kids of all ages on topics that will interest them or offer them a new interest to learn about. Most of the time these will be nonfiction books, but sometimes we can learn from fictional stories too. I frequently learn from books sent during a historical period because usually the fictional story is based on real events.
So, I hope you will stay tuned to these posts. They will always have Summer Read-to-Learn in the title and in the tags. There will be books from some of my favorite publishers like National Geographic, Phaidon, Chronicle Kids, Prestel, and many others.
To see all the posts from my Summer Read-to-Learn series, click HERE.
SEARCH FOR A GIANT SQUID
Pick Your Path: Science and Explorers
By: Amy Seto Forrester
Illustrated by: Andy Chou Musser
Published: April 25, 2023
Publisher: Chronicle Kids
Learning about giant squids has been limited to only studying them once a dead squid has washed ashore. Teuthologists, scientists who study cephalopods, haven’t been able to dive deep enough or stay underwater long enough to study them while they are alive and in the ocean until recently. Join scientists in this choose-your-own-adventure type of book as they travel in an underwater vehicle to the Twilight Zone, the squid’s natural habitat.
First, you and your team get ready by doing research and sharing notes with each other. Then you pack and prepare the research vessel that you and the team will travel on. Then your adventure begins by choosing which submersible you want to use. Will you choose the Galaxy with the longer battery life and more thrusters or the Athena with less battery life but a longer sonar ranger and two manipulator arms? Based on the choice, kids will turn to the appropriate page and continue their adventure.
No research journey is without complications and this one has a few. But, following the clues on the pages, the skills of the team in the submersible and on the vessel, and a little luck, you might just find a Giant Squid.
This book uses actual scientific terms to make the adventure the most authentic for kids/future researchers. The animals covered in the book along with their scientific names and a full glossary of terms are easy to find at the end of the book. If kids are still interested, websites, books, and a bibliography are included at the end. Actual facts from the ocean are also included such as, “Giant squid can only survive in saltwater.”
Kids interested in marine biology or adventure books that can change based on their own choices will find this research book to be quite fun! Even though the illustrations are cartoon-like, they are still quite accurate and make this book accessible to young and older readers.
Amy Seto Forrester is a youth services supervisor at the Eugene Public Library who is passionate about diverse, engaging books for beginning readers. An active member of ALA and ALSC, she is co-founder and co-host of the Guessing Geisel blog and often reviews for journals such as SLJ, Kirkus, and Horn Book Guide. Frustrated by the lack of diversity in books for beginning readers, she decided to write one herself.
Andy Musser is an artist and a storyteller. He was born in Oregon but now lives in Seattle. When not in the studio, he can be found visiting the library, rock climbing, or volunteering with the Bureau of Fearless Ideas working to help kids develop their own picture books.