Each spring, Delaware Bay teems with life as millions of horseshoe crabs come ashore to mate and lay eggs, thousands of migrating shorebirds descend to gorge on the nutrient rich spawn, and hoards of human visitors arrive to observe and record the frenzied scene. The author uses bold headings (They’re laying./ They’re landing./ They’re tagging.) to build excitement and introduce simple yet informative paragraphs about the various life forms on the bay. For example, “Bony and weak, the migrating shorebirds arrive in Delaware Bay. They are hungry. Very, very hungry.” Soft pastel watercolor-and-pencil illustrations complement and enhance the text; readers will be drawn to the one young girl on the beach assisting with the scientific survey. Front and back endpapers offer labeled anatomical drawings of the “humble horseshoe crab,” a creature that is not a crab at all but, instead, shares a family tree connection with scorpions, spiders, and ticks. Endnotes offer an extra layer: more facts about the horseshoe crab, resources for further investigation, a bibliography, and a map. Highly recommended for budding naturalists and elementary educators teaching about coastal ecosystems.
Jenny Andrus, Live Oak School