Review of Good Eating: The Short Life of Krill

Good Eating: The Short Life of Krill Good Eating: The Short Life of Krill
by Matt Lilley; illus. by Dan Tavis
Primary    Tilbury    40 pp.    g
1/22    978-0-88448-867-5    $18.95

An omniscient narrator notices a small egg at the surface of the Southern Ocean. Using direct address, the narrator speaks to the egg as it floats downward and changes (“you’re not an egg anymore”) into a six-armed oval, or, as a small label informs readers, a nauplius. Now the creature reverses direction and swims toward the surface, adding legs and a shell, which it molts. For about four weeks, it continues this two-mile upward journey, complete with more alterations (such as forming a mouth, stomach, and eyes) and more molting. Finally, a mature krill emerges, eating and growing and molting some more. The narrator continues commenting on the crustacean, pointing out its bioluminescence, its changing color as it eats small plants, and the millions of like creatures it joins. The slightly cartoonish illustrations of goggle-eyed krill complement the light tone of the text but never distract from the scientific fact that krill are the keystone species of Earth’s southernmost ocean. Illustrations show swarms of krill eating algae and phytoplankton only to, in turn, be devoured by seabirds, penguins, and whales. The narrator drolly comments: “Krill are really good at eating and krill are really good eatin’.” Back matter includes additional facts about krill; recommended books and online content (including a computer game) encourage readers to learn more.

From the May/June 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Betty Carter
Betty Carter, an independent consultant, is professor emerita of children’s and young adult literature at Texas Woman’s University.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.