Animal Camouflage in the Ocean: Perfect Picture Book Friday

I’ve been over my head in water….researching that is! (Altho’ I have water leaking from the ice dam on the roof over the kitchen sink…but that’s another story).  I entered an illustration contest* – we had to do an underwater tropical reef picture…so of course I went to the kid’s department at my local library to research.  Here’s my final picture and a review of a fun picture book I found on the subject of ocean cammoflage, camoulflage, camouflage…(I had to look at the front of the book to get it right).


Discovery! by Laura Anne Miller

Title: Animal Camouflage in the Ocean

Author:   Martha E.H. Rustad

Illustrator:   (Photos)

Publisher: Capstone Press, 2010

Genre: Non-fiction

Audience Age: 1st Grade Early Reader (but my 3 yr old grandblessing loved it)

Themes/Topics: Marine Animals, Camouflage

Animal Camouflage in the OceanOpening Sentences: “In a wet world, animals need to blend in.  Camouflage helps ocean animals hunt or stay safe.”

Synopsis: Simple vocabulary and beautiful pictures show ocean animals that use camouflage.

Why I like it: To quote my 3 yr old grand blessing…”It’s A-MAZ-ING!”  (our family tends toward hyperbole).  But, truly – I am in awe of God’s design and his use of color change and camouflage.  And in the ocean…it’s incredibly awesome and brilliant!  There are 9 featured creatures with skin that blends, or changes, or hides in the varied depths of the ocean.   The text of less than 200 words, is at a 1st grade level, but introduces new words like camouflage, predator and prey.  There is even a glossary at the back.  The photos are gorgeous…and some of the animals are so sneaky…you really have to look to find them.

This book also held the attention of my 5 yr. old grand blessing.  I had three other ocean picture books – but they were too detailed, or too busy to hold their interest. This is the book that they liked and looked at again.   It is also part of a Hidden in Nature series.

Activities/Resources:  the back of the book listed a safe-site for kids to research more facts.  It’s called Facthound.  Brain Pop has some activities you can do at home to learn about camouflage here.  For a little older group Scholastic has a fun and varied lesson plan here.

Availability:   Everywhere.  If you’d like to buy it and help a friend of Susanna’s who has cancer you can order it from Merritt Book Store.  (Susanna Leonard Hill is the originator of PPBF and you can find all the other PPB recommendations and links  on her blog.)

Keep your head above water  (and the snow)….and enjoy the book!

Laura           *That’s my illustration for a Thurd Thursday Illustration Contest sponsored by the School of Visual Storytelling (on facebook) You may know already of Will Terry and Jake Parker.  Each month they give a writing prompt that you can  illustrate.  2 winners are selected (one by visitors to the site, and one by their staff).  The prize award goes toward purchases from their SVS store.  The voting is over for this month, but you can see all the entries here.


  1. First, LOVE your painting! It’s gorgeous! As for the book, it looks and sounds wonderful. I wish I’d had this one when my son was little – it’s right up his alley!

  2. I have a grandson that would have loved this book as a kid. He was obsessed with the sea creatures. I love the focus on the natural camouflage that is in the sea life. What a lush and beautiful cover. I can only imagine the remainder of the illustrations are as beautiful.

  3. Sounds like a neat book. You are quite courageous to do an underwater illustration, but it looks like it paid off!

  4. Stacy S. Jensen

    Ah, that’s digital. Wonderful. It doesn’t look that way. Love the hair… This book looks great. We’re interested in camouflage – animals, people, anything …
    Good luck with your entry.

  5. Your picture makes me want to go jump in the river! We’ve got big turtles that lay on the bottom and blend in with the riverbed. They sometimes pop up and scare me! I’ll have to look for this book. It sounds super!

    • Oh – Rhythm – I know you’re down south…but the thought of jumping in the river this time of year makes me shiver!!

      • My Mom Person too! We actually went down to the river the other day when it was kind of a summery day. It was chilly water, but I didn’t care. The Mom Person wouldn’t let us stay very long though.

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