On Kiki’s Reef (Dawn Publications, 2014) is a delightful children’s picture book about the life cycle of a sea turtle.
Along the way, Kiki meets animals on a coral reef. This book is aimed at lower elementary school grades (4-8 years old). Its ample backmatter will appeal to older children, and to parents who can explain it to their young child.
This book is considered fiction, probably because Kiki has a name and the story is told from her point-of-view in the third person. I would consider it informational fiction because real facts are scattered throughout the 755 word book.
Kiki starts off as a hatchling scurrying to the ocean after hatching on the beach. A page later she is already six years old! This is okay because sea turtles’ life cycles are long (she won’t lay eggs until she’s older than 20 years old) and this is just a picture book!
She “meets” coral, clownfish and the colorful fish (tangs and wrasses) that clean her shell of algae. I won’t give away all the animals she meets, which by the way she never talks to, but she even meets a human diver.
Then the book is over when she lays her eggs on the beach where she was born.
The backmatter includes more information on all the creatures mentioned or pictured in the book, and “Carol’s Teaching Treasures,” which includes the author’s activities for kids, web links and book suggestions.
The backmatter invites repeated readings, as children will be searching for all the critters mentioned.
Overall I recommend this book to all elementary school aged children who want to be introduced to not only sea turtles, but to the other denizens of the coral reef.