If I were that krill, I’d be looking for the emergency exit right now. Good thing there’s strength in numbers, or at least enough survivors to ensure the production of billions more.
The cover gives the reader an important clue: this is not going to be a dull book about sea creatures. It’s going to be an eat or be eaten culinary experience.
We follow the life of krill, from a single egg sinking, sinking, sinking…
along with a few billion others.
Hey, egg. What are you doing?
Are you sinking?
And progress through the developmental stages as the egg transforms into a 26-legged plankton-eating machine. But krill aren’t the only gluttons in the sea.
Yes, those tiny krill are being stalked by pretty much every other predator with a mouth. No wonder krills’ lives are short.
Better not think about that! Just keep swimming up, up, up.
For your new body,
you grow a new shell…
Your shell breaks apart again, and you come out…
(Note: the author uses second person point of view, a highly unusual choice, and one that works well in this narrative.)
But back to those frantically swimming krill stuffing their gullets with phytoplankton! Everyone wants a piece of them. They are a “keystone species” of the ocean, meaning the entire ocean’s food web pretty much depends on their survival and propagation.
So much knowledge in so few pages! And what do you think? Is that krill on the cover framed by the eyeball of a whale???!!! Brilliant!
This book is playful (with illustrations that will bring a fair number of giggles) while doling out a healthy serving of information that kids are sure to gobble up.
Activities from Matt Lilley’s website:
Download the Teacher’s Guide, including questions to ask before reading, post-reading discussion questions, activities, and resources for further learning.
Coloring sheet of the book’s cover.
Make a paper krill.
Title: Good Eating: The Short Life of Krill
Author: Matt Lilley
Illustrator: Dan Tavis
Publisher: Tilbury House, 2022
Ages: Elementary school
Themes: Krill, food webs, oceans
For more perfect picture book recommendations, please visit Susanna Hill’s website.