A Day in the Deep

Booklist - November 2013

Life exists from the ocean’s surface all the way down to its dark floor. Descending in five-hundred-foot increments, the author and illustrator look at life in five deep-ocean habitats. At each level, aquatic life adapts to diminishing light. With surface light, brown algae abounds. Dive lower and find “out-of-thisworld” sea creatures, such as sharks with glowing bellies, viperfish with antennae that flash, headlight fish with luminous blue lights, spookfish with totally clear skin, and angelfish that use parasitic bacteria as lights. With each descent, the illustrations become darker and more muted. Double-page spreadsare captivating, although the folds do fall across some pertinent body parts. While brief rhyming verses describe the animals, four pages of more in-depth information about the ocean creatures end the book. This would make for a fine complement to informational books with photographs of ocean life.
J. B. Petty

School Library Journal - November 2013

"This book touches on some fantastic topics like whale fall, marine snow, bioluminescence, and bacterial involvement at many depths..."

Scientists Bookshelf - December 2013

Kevin Kurtz’ A Day in the Deep (illustrated by Erin E. Hunter, Arbordale, grades prekindergarten-4) is a stocking stuffer that will keep on giving (educationally). Written in playful rhyming verse, this short, informative book takes primary grade readers down into the ocean’s lightless depths (the aptly named midnight, abyssal and hadal zones). Depicted against ink-black pages, we meet a cast of spooky-looking predators and prey that fascinatingly use bioluminescence to attract or avoid one another: “The vampire squid makes its get-away by spraying out mucus that glows.” Along with a back-of-book “Creative Minds” facts and activities section, A Day in the Deep is homeschooler heaven, with more than 15 pages of related online activities.

The Naturalist - January 2014

A Day in the Deep is yet another example of Kevin Kurtz's talent in presenting factual information about different environments to young audiences. As a submersible makes its slow descent to the bottom of the ocean, readers are presented with realistic depictions of a variety of undersea animals, illustrated by gifted artist Erin Hunter. One bizarre animal after another is introduced through poetry, describing the various adaptations these animals have for life in the dark and cold. The trip culminates near the bottom, some 5,000 feet down, where a sperm whale's body rests. While we might think must be a desolate place, Kurtz reminds us that even here at bottom of the ocean, life finds a way to survive and thrive off the bounty of a dead whale.

As a naturalist and educator, I am always on the hunt for story books that can be used for elementary school kids. Perhaps what I like best about this book, and others like it in this series, is the additional information in the back which can help spur further discussions or tie in with classroom curricula.

Spanglish Baby - September 2013

"The book is called Un día en la profundidad and this is what my daughter had to say about it: “I liked learning more about the animals in the deep. The pictures are cool because they told me more about what I was reading.” In fact, she was so impressed by the illustrations, that she made two drawings based on what she had seen and read!

Personally, I enjoyed the realistic images, the wealth of information and the impeccable Spanish translation. Each books comes with an additional educational section, which is perfect to continue the exploration of the topic discussed."

Science Books & Films - October 2013

A Day in the Deep takes readers on a journey to the ocean floor, passing any creatures you may encounter on your dive down. Following an ABCB rhyme scheme, the text is presented in more of a whimsy fashion and will take a literacy approach to the content instead of writing for a deeper scientific explanation. At times the reader will have to pause and re-read a stanza to digest the information presented as the abrupt poetic style can be jarring, however accurate. It provides surface information on fish that are found in the deep and adaptations they have, coupled with illustrations. This is a great book to couple with a rhyme scheme lesson. The back of the book provides a link to a website for more educational information. —Christina Conti, Liberty Science Center, Jersey City, NJ

Feathered Quill Book Review - October 2013

This is an amazingly well-written and illustrated book that will captivate the young audience. The artwork and the verse seem to contribute equally to the allure of this book. This story in rhyme is written with ballad stanzas (the 2nd and 4th lines rhyme). The full-color, full-page artwork is quite stunning and will mesmerize the reader as they travel further and further down into the ocean. Confident readers should be able to tackle the material readily, but it will also be of high interest to those much younger. In the back of the book are several activities, including some that can be downloaded and printed from the publisher’s website. This would be an excellent book to read and discuss in the homeschool or classroom setting.

Quill says: This is a fun, fascinating journey beneath the ocean waves that will mesmerize young and old alike!

The Californian - October 2013

As you descend you’ll also move from the twilight zone and the midnight zone to the abyssal and hadal zones which are not only pitch black and extremely cold but also where there is incredibly high pressure. You’ll also read about the unique habitats of the animals that call these zones home and the adaptations and food chains that have evolved so far beneath the surface. At the back of the book are four pages of learning activities that will engage the reader and perhaps make the youngster want to study these creatures and their habitat further.

Home School Book Review - November 2013

This book is a journey through the dark depths of the sea towards the ocean floor. Most ecosystems require sunlight, but deep in the ocean where the sun doesn’t shine creatures have adapted some very interesting ways to see, protect themselves, and find food....The organisms featured in the rhyming text and nicely illustrated with the full-color, full-page artwork by Erin E. Hunter...

ACS Readers Haven-December 2013

This is an attractive book with illustrations pretty true to reality and not “cutesy” as far as the various sea creatures are concerned. The book is written in verse style which engages the mind of the young reader for more comprehension and retention. Beginning with just below the surface where the sun still shines, the contents of the sea are described - the creatures and sea plants and their interaction. Moving on a bit deeper the light diminishes and the sea life changes. You see how the creatures’ habitats and strange shapes and abilities make them precisely suited for the depth of the sea in which they dwell. It is interesting to see the way life exists even at depths where survival would seem impossible. What is it like at 1,000 feet? Did you know that there is actually life at 5,000 below sea level?

Happy Little Homemaker - January 2014

The next favorite is A Day in the Deep. After watching Wild Kratts & Finding Nemo, they are familiar with ocean animals and the strange ones that live down low.  This is another rhyming one.  I love that the ones that rhyme are really well done.  They really are a joy to read.  The illustrations are pretty dark because they go to the bottom of the ocean where it’s pretty dark and the critters down there are pretty weird so sensitive littles may not enjoy it.  Just a warning.

Tif Talks Books - March 2014

Kurtz takes us on a tour of the ocean, from surface to the deep, deep bottom.  The facts shared in this book are fascinating and the illustrations by Erin E. Hunter are gorgeous.  The sea animals glow off each page, with the contrasting black background, just like in the depths of the ocean.

Learning Table Reviews - June 2014

The difficulty of the vocabulary along with the rhyming text make this book best suited for reading aloud to a young audience. The full-page glowing illustrations hold young kids' interest and pique their curiosity. Did you know that some sea creatures can light up? Or that some creatures never, ever see the sun? These and many other facts are covered in this book.