by Eric Carle
Does your toddler know that when a mother seahorse gives birth, she lays her eggs in the pouch of the father seahorse? He protects the eggs in his pouch until they hatch. Eric Carle, whom your child may know from The Very Hungry Caterpillar, takes us inside an undersea world full of fathers caring for their young. Mr. Seahorse greets Mr. Kurtus (a type of nurseryfish), who carries Mrs. Kurtus’s eggs on his forehead. Mrs. Pipe (a pipefish) lays her eggs all along Mr. Pipe’s belly (your child can see the small circles distinctly on the underside of his tubelike body). The artist also uses a transparent screen, embedded in the thick board book pages, to depict the reeds where the trumpet fish take cover, and the coral reefs that hide the exotic-looking lionfish. On the final pages, the babies emerge from their eggs and swim out to sea. Your toddler will pour over these pages of ocean life in which fathers play an essential role.