Petruccio, Steven James. Very good in very good dust jacket. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. Fuzzy book. 32 p. Contains: Illustrations. Smithsonian Oceanic Collection (Paperback). Audience: Children/juvenile.
ISBN 1568990782 - While not exactly non-fiction, Manatee Winter is educational, which is always a plus. The involvement of the Smithsonian Institution is a good thing, too, but not quite good enough.
A mother manatee and her calf head to warmer waters for the winter, encountering the dangerous propellers of fishing boats along the way. One specific encounter separates the two, scaring Little Calf into weeds which he can't escape on his own. Mother must help him and continue encouraging him so that they can reach the safety of a warm spring, where Little Calf will meet other baby manatees for the first time.
Illustrator Steven James Petruccio did a very nice job; the problem isn't his work but the general boring-ness of the relatively accurate images. A manatee under water looks like a manatee under water and there are few images including anything else. In the back of the book, there is a list of "Points of Interest" that name pages where you can find specific things. For pages 22-23, it says "egret, red mangrove trees", but the egret's head is mostly cut off at the top of the page and the trees are represented only by roots. Author Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld did a very nice job, as well, and the book is best, in my opinion, as a vaguely educational text. As a storybook for young children, it's a little boring.
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