Jason Chin’s illustrations in Coral Reefs: A Journey Through an Aquatic World Full of Wonder (Square Fish, 2016) create an imaginative story of a girl reading this same book and being swept away in an actual coral reef ecosystem. I love the creative illustrations and the details shown in the text. It is a gorgeous book worth pouring over, and parents should give children a chance to explore the details in the images.
I personally found the informational text rather dull compared to other picture books about the coral reef. There was too much text on each page, and the story told in the illustrations was much more engaging. I feel like the imaginative story would be great for encouraging students to recall the facts they have learned or to write their own creative exploration of the coral reef, based on their research. The book also provides end matter that shows a cross section of a coral and discusses protecting coral reefs. It’s a solid choice for learning about the coral reef systems, even if the text is not as engaging as the illustrations.