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A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea [With Audio CD]

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PreS-Gr 4-Law has taken the traditional folk song and tweaked the words slightly so that it is a vehicle for teaching about the marine food chain, beginning with the shark and ending with seaweed. Back matter includes an explanation of blue holes and of the food chain, a paragraph describing each of the sea creatures featured in the song, and the score. The gouache and collage illustrations picture a bright and sunny underwater world, with vivid shifting shades of blue. A nice addition with a dual purpose.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Law adapts this familiar cumulative song, replacing the frog and its log with animals more likely to be found in a saltwater environment-and turning the tune into a fun introduction to an undersea food chain. This version opens with a predator: "There's a shark in the hole in the bottom of the sea./ In the dark in the hole in the bottom of the sea." Working in gouache and collage, McDonald (Over in the Meadow) gives the shark a wide, toothy grin and a mischievous gleam in its eye, as jellyfish float nearby and plants sway. The shark is soon joined by an eel, squid, crab, and snail, and subsequent verses mention the roles of seaweed and the sun. As friendly and colorful as McDonald makes these sea creatures and their environs, their interconnected roles as predator and prey are not downplayed-in the final scene, everyone ends up in the shark's belly. Endnotes discuss each link in this particular food chain (and actual undersea holes), and an enhanced CD with audio and video elements is also included. Ages 3-6. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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