Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
In this original, entirely engaging book, Carle adds to his rich cache of endearing animal characters while delivering some intriguing information about several underwater species. Father fish come to the forefront here-and deservedly so. When Mrs. Seahorse announces that it is time for her to lay her eggs, Mr. Seahorse affably asks, "Can I help?" She then lays her eggs into a pouch in the belly of her mate, who earnestly announces, "I'll take good care of our eggs.... I promise." Then, drifting through the sea, the expectant pater meets up with other fish who are also carrying-or protecting-eggs, such as Mr. Tilapia, who carries eggs in his mouth, and Mr. Kurtus, who has stuck his mate's eggs on top of his head. Chipper Mr. Seahorse gives each words of encouragement ("Keep up the good work"; "You must be very happy"; "You are doing a fine job"). Between each of Mr. Seahorse's encounters, he unknowingly swims by other sea creatures, cleverly camouflaged behind curtains of seaweed, a coral reef and a rock. Yet readers spy all of these hidden critters when they lift acetate pages, adding a delightful dimension to this first-rate fish tale, capped by a winsome, child-confidence-building finale. In his elegant painted tissue-paper collages, Carle innovatively balances pastel hues with shocks of brilliant color, creating an appealing seascape that succeeds swimmingly. Ages 4-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 2-Carle once again successfully introduces his young fans to an interesting aspect of the natural world. Using oceanic hues, he creates a menagerie of fascinating underwater creatures with his trademark painted tissue-paper collage illustrations. After Mrs. Seahorse carefully lays her eggs in the pouch on his belly, Mr. Seahorse gently drifts through the water, promising to take good care of their young while they incubate. As he floats along, he politely greets other fish fathers similarly caring for their offspring and praises their efforts, telling them, "Keep up the good work" and "You should feel proud of yourself." Interspersed between these encounters are scenes where he unknowingly swims past fish that are camouflaged (e.g., trumpet fish hide in some reeds and a lionfish lurks behind a coral reef), and their presence is revealed when readers turn the overlaying acetate pages. Although these episodes do not contribute to the main theme of the story, they introduce a greater variety of sea life and are sure to be a hit with children. Finally, Mr. Seahorse's task is complete and the babies are ready to be born and swim away on their own. Repeated phrases and a balanced structure make this offering a good choice for reading aloud. Although the prolific Carle has produced stronger stories, this one is sure to appeal to a wide audience.-Piper L. Nyman, Fairfield/Suisun Community Library, Fairfield, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PreS-Gr. 3. In this tribute to fathers, fish, and otherwise, Carle adds an element to his signature painted tissue-paper collages that makes his art exceptionally striking. After Mrs. Seahorse deposits her eggs in his pouch, Mr. Seahorse drifts gently through the sea, meeting five other fish fathers who participate in prenatal care: Mr. Stickleback hatches the eggs; Mr. Tilapia holds the eggs in his mouth; Mr. Kurtus, a nurseryfish, sticks the eggs on his head until they hatch; Mr. Pipe, a pipefish, carries the eggs on his narrow belly; and Mr. Bullhead, a catfish, babysits newly hatched fry. With each encounter comes a delightful surprise: an acetate overlay camouflages the sea creatures as Mister Seahorse passes by: a lionfish hides in a coral reef; a stonefish hides behind a rock. The vivid, multicolored fish and translucent scenery perfectly evoke the watery backdrop, and the acetate sea scenes are as innovative as the die-cuts in Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar0 . Pair this with Lionni's Swimmy 0 for a delightful glass-bottomed boat tour. Awash with the wonders of undersea life, this is a stunning, ingeniously conceived lesson in nature as well as a celebration of fatherly affection. --Julie Cummins Copyright 2004 Booklist
Horn Book Review
While carrying Mrs. Seahorse's eggs in his pouch, Mr. Seahorse encounters other male fishes doing their part in caring for their young. Alternating spreads contain watercolor painted overlays that provide camouflage for various fish. Carle's collages attractively illustrate the ocean environment and the life that inhabits it. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Book Review
The striking single seahorse gracing the cover of this tribute to aquatic fatherhood could never be mistaken as anything other than one of Carle's consummately creative collage creatures. The graphically arresting cover leads to rows of baby seahorses swimming across the endpapers and then on to a wonderful variety of jewel-toned fish set against white backgrounds with just the suggestion of pale blue and green waves in bold strokes of watercolor. The star of this underwater show, Mr. Seahorse, swims through his underwater home as he carries the eggs that Mrs. Seahorse has laid. He greets other fathers that are carrying eggs or caring for their young, complementing each fish on his fine work. The father fish alternate with other kinds of fish that Mr. Seahorse doesn't see because they are hiding behind camouflage elements such as seaweed and coral, which are overprinted on clear acrylic pages. These camouflage pages illustrate how different kinds of fish can hide themselves, but as each of these special pages is turned to cover Mr. Seahorse, the reader sees how he can hide himself as well. The simple, thoughtfully told story includes repetitive phrases and a predictable structure with an emotionally satisfying ending as Mr. Seahorse sends his babies out into the watery world. (author's note) (Picture book. 2-6) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.