- by Carol Standish
Cruising with kids next summer? Prepare yourself for all those questions with a brand new authority, A Field Guide to North Atlantic Wildlife by Noble S. Proctor and Patrick J. Lynch (Yale University Press, 221 pp, $19.95). Uniquely focused on bio-region rather than a single animal or plant family, the guide covers marine plants, invertebrates, sharks, rays, fish, seabirds, sea turtles, baleen and toothed whales and seals. Excellent full color illustrations of each creature, often enhanced with a number of different views, are accompanied by range maps by season and verbal descriptions of appearance and habits. The common names of endangered or threatened species are printed in red and the guide references a website on the subject.
This new approach to field guides presents the community of interconnected creatures who inhabit the waters we sail on. Whether you have kids aboard or not, no vessel cruising in these parts should be without this great guide.
And for those calm moments aboard which adults cherish and cause the fidgets in kids, here are some diversions. Barnes and Noble has re-published The Nature Company Discoveries Series which addresses various natural phenomena.
Two of the best titles, relevant to cruising are Weather and Under the Sea both aimed at nine to twelve year old readers. In their supreme effort not to appear text-bookish the editors have created a hodge-podge of explanations, history and project instruction which float amid dazzling illustrations and photographs of our exquisite world.
Both books invite browsing rather than demand fast attention to didactic narrative and can be revisited often with the assurance that some fillip of fascinating information will surface which has previously been overlooked.
Weather, consulting editor David Ellyard (Barnes & Noble Books, 64 pp and a bargain at $6.95) contains discussions of the phenomena of daily weather, climate, winds and currents, climactic change and the science of weather forecasting.
Under the Sea, consulting editor Frank H. Talbot (Barnes & Noble Books, 64 pp also $6.95) covers underwater geography, various underwater habitats, a history of ocean exploration, migrations, sea legends and manís uses of the sea and its products and creatures. The illustrations in this volume are even more dramatic.