Review Detail

The KRILL of it All
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
While I had a vague sense about what krill were, I hadn't really thought about what an important part they play in the ecosystem. Lilley starts from the beginning of a krill's life cycle, and follows as one small egg sinks to the bottom of the ocean, starts to develop, and goes through the various stages to become a small ocean creature. Krill eat a LOT, and we see how krill turn green when they eat a lot of plant material. They continue to grow and eat even more, and come into contact with a variety of ocean creatures. Of course, it soon becomes apparent that krill are going to be eaten themselves, but the particular one we are following manages to escape the whale at the end and can keep up his gobbling ways for a little while longer.
Good Points
There is a lot of humor to go along with the scientific language; we see what krill look like during the phases of their development, and the names are those phases appear in the corner of the pages complete with pronunciation. This makes it great for a classroom read aloud, because the text addresses one krill as "you" and makes the tiny, anonymous animals seem sympathetic. We follow our krill and root for its growth, but also hope that our krill won't end up as someone else's dinner... at least not too soon!

The illustrations are very detailed, and give a good sense for the changes the animals goes through, and also what the environment in which it lives is like. Since a lot of the krill's life is spent underwater, many of the pages have backgrounds in dark colors, with text in white or beige. The illustrations make good use of the entire spread, with some fun borders showing sea vegetation or other details.

There have been a lot of picture books about animals, and Good Eating can share the table with Moore's Buzz, Croak, Hiss and Hoot, Alexander's Anglerfish: The Seadevil of the Deep, Boxer's One Turtle's Last Straw: The Real-Life Rescue That Sparked a Sea Change. There have also been a number of books about the ecology of the ocean, like Giuliani's At the Sea, Young's Antartica, and Mihaly's Water: A Deep Dive of Discovery. It's good to see more informational text for young readers, especially when they have fantastic end papers-- this one has two solid pages of tiny krill that made me think that maybe one of them was wearing a striped shirt like Waldo!
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