Book Review: Where the Weird Things Are by Zoleka Filander

Where the Weird Things Are cover image

Some of the strangest creatures in the ocean live in what’s known at the Ocean Twilight Zone, a place so deep there’s very little light. The lie that thrives there adapted for survival in those conditions.

Where the Weird Things Are: An Ocean Twilight Zone Adventure by Zoleka Filander, introduces young readers to things like the strawberry squid, which has one yellow eye and one blue one, and salps, which help clean up the water by eating and pooping.

Everything is seen through the eyes of a mesobot, and underwater robot that helps researchers study these creatures and how they live. The mesobot thinks it’s weird, but then it finds out that everything has some weird feature, which creates the kind of diversity needed to maintain a healthy ocean.

Illustrations by Patricia Hooning are colorful and give a sense of flowing, like things would look as they swim or ride an ocean current. Bright colors pop against a dark background, and where you find abundance in a species, like krill, hundreds of them appear on the page to give a sense of the swirling mass mesobot would see.

The book is written in conjunction with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a private non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, which is dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. And there are photographs in the back of the real-life creatures featured in the book, along with facts about them.

Where the Weird Things Are is a fun way to pique the interest of young readers about the vast world under the surface of the ocean.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.

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