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Looking for his lost fish trap, Ben thinks he sees something dark moving under the water. Is it a creature or only his imagination? Later, diving into the sea with his friend Sophie, he is amazed to discover a wonderful hidden forest of golden kelp - and the rich variety of creatures who live there.
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Gr 1-3-A boy loses his fish trap just off the coast of Tasmania, and is helped to retrieve it by a diver friend who wants to take him along to see "the world under the waves." This simple plot furnishes the mechanism by which readers are taken on a visually fascinating tour through a kelp forest shown in vibrantly colorful and amazingly detailed collages. The constructions incorporate natural materials such as pressed seaweed, sponges, and sand; the kelp itself is modeled with a translucent artist's clay, and the realism is extraordinary. The golds and greens of the kelp form a vivid contrast to the blue water and create the illusion that viewers are indeed looking upward through a waving, moving forest of living seaweed. By the end, the boy is so impressed by the beauty around him that he empties his catch from the fish trap so that the creatures may remain in their "mysterious, hidden world," and readers will be in complete agreement. An author's note contains brief but interesting information about kelp forests.-Marian Drabkin, Richmond Public Library, CA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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