The Hungriest Mouth in the Sea

Publishers Weekly - August 2015

"Newcomer Walters uses a question-and-answer setup as he invites readers to find the hungriest animal off the coast of New Zealand: "Perhaps it's the seahorse with a pot-belly,/ or the trailing tentacles of a moon jelly?/ No, no, no, it's nothing like that./ It's someone else in this habitat." A mix of leathery, corrugated, and crinkled-paper collages, which do an impressive job of capturing the details of swimming petrel birds, rosy-pink squid, and other animals...Walter's use of repetition and the book's guessing-game aspect provide readaloud appeal."

Kirkus Reviews - July 2015

"Who knew the food chain would make for such a jaunty rhyme?"

"...It's pink Antarctic krill...but there's a hungrier mouth heading toward the krill. It could be a petrel swooping down into the sea or a squid; nope, this time it's a blue cod. Through each link in the food chain, two possibilities are offered before the answer is revealed. The animals get bigger and bigger until it's an orca dining on a brown fur seal. British artist and teacher Walters' debut is a fun-to-read rhyme that does an excellent job tracing one food chain from microscopic plankton to apex predator. The realistic animals in his cut-paper collages will remind adults of Steve Jenkins' work, and young biologists will enjoy trying to identify each slightly larger mouth from just the lips (or beak) tantalizingly placed at the edge of every other recto. Backmatter completes the package, with further information, a matching activity, and a card game."

"An excellent addition to classroom, library, or personal nature collections."

Horn Book Guide - April 2016

"This purposeful picture-book introduction to food chains focuses on the ocean ecosystem surrounding Australasia (the "seas of the South"), tracing links from plankton to orca whales. Textured, jewel-tone collage illustrations offer a vibrant and engaging representation of the sea and its creatures..."

School Library Connection - October 2016

Using rhyming text, this simple book encourages the reader to try and guess which sea animal is going to be featured next, with each one getting bigger. This first writing and illustrating effort by Walters reflects his experiences in New Zealand, obvious from the animals featured. The end of the book includes four pages of learning activities for readers. The interactivity will appeal to young students who will stay engaged while learning.

Midwest Book Review - November 2015

"The Hungriest Mouth in the Sea' is an educational story about the chain of life in the seas of the South, surrounding a pair of islands known as New Zealand. Written in riddling rhyme, the story asks again and again, "Who has the hungriest mouth in the seas of the South?" A journey begins with a cloud of green plankton and travels up the food chain through many marine creatures, visiting and rejecting the seahorse, krill, a petrel (a bird who dives in the ocean), a squid, blue cod, swordfish, a long tail ray, yellow-eyed penguins, barracuda, Hector's dolphin, the brown fur seal, a great white shark, and even a sperm whale . The journey ends with the black and white Orcas who earns the title of "The Hungriest Mouth in the Sea." Fabulous lushly colored, textured, multi- media illustrations lead the reader from page to page by hinting at the next marine creature to appear, following up the food chain of the seas."

Kids Book Buzz - December 2015

"This is a good book for younger children who are just starting to learn about food chains and about the ocean. The pictures are really fun because they have been made from paper cutouts but they still look like scenes from the ocean. The words sometimes rhyme and they keep asking the same questions, so that is fun for younger children to answer and guess what is coming next. There are some pages at the end that have a food web game and some other games you can play about the hungriest mouth in the sea!"
Reviewed by Rachel, Age 9

Children's Literature - Fall 2015

...With this repeated phrase, rhythmic text, a guessing-game format and gorgeous, realistic double-page spreads using cut, corrugated, crinkled and leathery-like paper collage, the author has written more than a picture book. It's an informative and authenticated thirty-two page full-size fishy tale of who eats whom and traces one food chain from microscopic plankton to apex predator...Very nicely done. Bravo!

Heck of a Bunch - August 2015

"Told in rhythmic form, The Hungriest Mouth in the Sea keeps children guessing which sea creature is at the top of the food chain. It also gives clues as to which sea life is considered predators and which are considered prey. Some animals illustrated in the book are squid, whales, sharks, and seals."

Robert Walch Reviews - October 2015

Colorful illustrations and a rhythmic, simple text investigate the food chain in the ocean without making it a scary situation. An excellent little book to use with younger children the author shows how the food chain works and also features a number of sea creatures. You'll also find four pages of learning activities which makes this a perfect book for use in the classroom.

Archimedes Notebook

"The artwork is delightful and will inspire young artists to try their hand at cut paper illustrations, and the rhyming text is engaging enough to be read over again. Back matter includes a fun section on marine mammals that will have kids comparing their own bodies to whales. There's a predator-prey matching game and food web cards for a "Hungry Mouth" game."

When the Books Hit the Fans

I really like this book. I found the artwork very appealing and I really like that the focus was on the South Seas eco-system. The book is appropriate for a fairly wide range of children; though written on the 3rd Grade level.

Children's Literature Review, University of Dayton SEHS

The pictures are awesome! I love the reference pages in the back of the book and it includes teaching suggestions...I would use this as a read aloud to reinforce lessons on the sea, like science, food webs, etc.

Puget Sound Council for the Review of Children's Books - August 2016

The book includes extension activities and allows for copying for educational use. This makes it a good addition to school and classroom libraries.

How Useful it is - December 2016

Pro: awesome facts at the end of the book, names of the animals on each page, plants under the sea that eats too, a tease of what the next animal will be

Teacher Review

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was well organized, informative, interesting, included colorful illustrations, and conveyed accurate information. I especially liked the way the author piqued the reader’s curiosity with interesting information on each page that led up to the climax of the story which revealed what the actual sea animal was. The text was age appropriate and easy to read and understand.