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Secret Seahorse: a hide-and-seek book    by Stella Blackstone & Clare Beaton order for
Secret Seahorse
by Stella Blackstone
Order:  USA  Can
Barefoot Books, 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I always enjoyed hide-and-seek books like this with my kids when they were small - it's so much fun for little ones to pick something special out of a busy page, and it's a joy for parents to watch the excitement when they succeed.

In Secret Seahorse, the trick is to spot the small creature amidst all the colorful activity of a coral reef (having scuba dived on the Great Barrier Reef, I especially loved this setting). Clare Beaton's illustrations depict a reef and all its denizens crafted out of fuzzy felt. Stella Blackstone's verses begin 'I saw a secret seahorse deep down in the sea. / I tried to swim beside him. He was too quick for me.' The little fellow hides behind all kinds of creatures and things, including 'an ancient shipwreck'.

The back of the book explains how coral reef colonies grow 'very, very slowly' and introduces the 'Creatures of the Coral Reef' that are met in the book, from the Anemone and Angelfish to Swordfish and of course Seahorses. Secret Seahorse is a colorful, educational hide-and-seek book with a delightful ending.

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