this is an invitingly illustrated book for bright nine-year-olds-and-up, designed to inform and enthuse them about the underwater world.
My wife, a former teacher, feels that 11-and-up would be more like it, but perhaps she underestimates the modern child. Had my grandson been a year or two older I would have asked him to review it, but instead I tried reading it through my nine-year-old self’s eyes.
All I know is that I was already learning things in the early pages (lakes, rivers and swamps make up no more than a five-hundredth of the water on Earth), and while I might have found concepts such as mutualistic symbiosis a bit formidable when I was nine, everything is so clearly explained that I would have been left in little doubt about its meaning. Besides, there is a handy glossary at the back.
Children might need a certain amount of self-motivation to read what amounts to a user-friendly textbook, but any diver’s child who has been inspired by snorkelling, rock-pooling or TV wildlife programmes is likely to have that.
I enjoyed the quality of Giulia de Amicis’s stylish illustrations, which complement the clear and carefully bundled text perfectly.