Newman, Patricia. Sea Otter Heroes:The Predators that Saved an Ecosystem. Photos. Non-fiction. Millbrook/Lerner, 2017. 56pp. PLB $31.99. 978-1-5124-2631-1. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 3-7.
Newman’s account of the effect of sea otters on the health of Elkhorn Slough estuary near Monterey Bay is well-researched and fascinating. The text describes how a young marine biologist, Brent Hughes, used the scientific method to discover why the seagrass, which should have been dying from chemical pesticide and fertilizer runoff, is thriving along the California Coast. Numerous photos, graphs, and maps assist in understanding the concepts presented. The science of seagrass and what it does for the environment is linked to the food chain, where sea otters, the top predators, were discovered to make a strong impact in improving the increased health of the seagrass. A history of sea otters, nearly hunted to extinction in the 20th century, describes their comeback with the help of human intervention. A DIY science experiment is included. Also included are tips on helping wildlife, source notes, a glossary, a selected bibliography, a reading/watching list which includes websites, an index, author biography, and photo acknowledgements. This book includes California-specific content.
Kathy L. Haug, Berkeley Public Library