Review of Anglerfish: The Seadevil of the Deep

Anglerfish: The Seadevil of the Deep Anglerfish: The Seadevil of the Deep
by Elaine Alexander; illus. by Fiona Fogg
Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g
4/22    978-1-5362-1396-6    $17.99

The menacing protagonist, Anglerfish, lurks in the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean, luring prey with her distinctive lantern-like appendage, then finishing them off with her mouthful of sharp teeth. Alexander explains how anglerfish themselves begin life as prey: eggs develop near the surface, small and exposed, and the baby fish dodge hazards such as birds, human fishing nets, and sea creatures. Those that survive grow large enough to descend to the ocean floor. Fogg’s exceptional digital illustrations capture the contrasts; a cute, young, goggle-eyed fry, floating in the lighter blue shallow seas surrounded by her egg jelly, becomes the dangerous seadevil darting across inky pages, sweeping that harsh light back and forth as if the reader could be her next meal. If this isn’t fearsome enough, just wait until Alexander describes the fish’s mating sequence, which does not end well for the male of the species. Appended are a glossary, an index, and a “More About Anglerfish” section that provides additional information on ocean zones, various fish adaptations in low-light environments, hunting behaviors, and other species.

From the March/April 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.

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