With its colourful palette and eye-catching design, this non-fiction picturebook really does grab attention. The embossed cover creates an enticing 3-D effect, and with every brightly-painted fish gazing to our right, it’s hard to resist their cue to browse this book.
Once inside, there’s plenty to discover and enjoy. Telling the story of fish on our planet from the armoured, jawless creatures that first appeared 500 million years ago, to the challenges faced by their descendants today from ocean plastics and industrial trawling, There Are Fish Everywhere introduces readers to the diversity of habitats and fishy life to be found in every corner of our seas and rivers.
Multi-award-winning illustrator Britta Teckentrup creates her artwork using painted, printed and textured papers which she develops and collages via manual and digital techniques. ‘Can You Find …’ challenges are included to spark close looking, and varied layouts keep things fresh – the diagram featuring the lifecycle of the Atlantic salmon is visually and factually interesting, for example, and cross-sections of the ocean allows readers to compare life at different depths. This is not a photo-realistic handbook, but fish and habitats are distinctively and accurately presented, and will help children identify species.
And it isn’t just the artwork that stands out. Care has been paid to the musicality of the text, as well as its clarity. Reading this book feels like listening to a knowledgeable friend, and it will be enjoyed by children who aren’t usually drawn to non-fiction, as well as those who are already keen.
There are Fish Everywhere is well-pitched for a primary-school audience but has the visual sophistication (and enough out-of-the-way facts) to appeal to older readers, too. With care, it’s also accessible to interested nursery children, who will relish some of the oddities described. This lovely book merits a place in every library and classroom, and will spark much interest and discussion.