A Day in the Salt Marsh

National Wildlife Federation-Ranger Rick Magazine-June/July 2010

The Gulf oil spill threatens the coastal wetlands, including salt marshes, that line the Gulf and provide many important benefits to people and wildlife. This book introduces the salt marsh habitat and the essential role this ecosystem plays. Rhyming text describes the plants and animals that live in the marsh and the changes that take place as the tide rises and falls throughout the day.

School Library Journal - September 2007

Through rhyming text, Kurtz introduces a salt marsh and its plant and animal inhabitants. Beginning at sunrise, the verses present an hour-by-hour look at the activities of various creatures and changes in the tide: “It’s twelve o’clock in the salt marsh;/the tide is rising fast./A grey fin breaks the water/as a dolphin swims right past!” Each spread offers a background view of the marsh along with two smaller inset illustrations: a close-up of the flora and fauna being described and a bird’s-eye representation of the scene. Activities and additional information for both students and teachers are appended. An inviting approach to an interesting ecosystem.–Christine Markley, Washington Elementary School, Barto, PA

National Wildlife Federation's Your Big Backyard - July 2007

Written in verse, this book explores a day in a salt marsh. The text points out the hourly changes that occur as the tide ebbs and flows. Meet terrapins, snails, river otters, and horseshoe crabs and discover how these diverse animals have adapted to life in this ever-changing environment. A section at the back of the book explains tides, the importance of salt marshes, and how grass can live in salty water.

Lettres de mon Moulin blog - April 15, 2009

Since salt marshes can be found all along the coasts of North America from Canada to south Florida, I thought that I would share a few resources we enjoyed that might also be of interest to any of you  planning a trip to the coastline this year. My favorite is a picture book, A Day in the Salt Marsh written by Kevin Kurtz and lushly illustrated by Consie Powell. The image of the marsh to the left is by the illustrator so you all can see how beautiful this book is! If you can’t find a copy in your local library or bookstore, browse through the e-version at Google Books. Then, visit the book’s page at Arbordale Publishing and print out the fabulous teaching materials available at the website.  Do not miss the interpretive guide which provides valuable information page by page on the animals and environment shown.  It also includes printable coloring pages of the illustrations as well as quizzes!  There are similar materials for all the Arbordale titles.  Another Arbordale book we loved was Carolina’s Story: Sea Turtles Get Sick Too! by Donna Rathmell.  It tells the story of a very ill loggerhead turtle that washes up on the beach in South Carolina and is rehabilitated and released back into the wild.

The American Biology Teacher - Nov 2007

A Day in the Salt Marsh by Kevin Kurtz with illustrations by Consie Powell introduces readers to hourly changes as the tide comes and goes in the salt marsh using rhyming verses. All of the animals and plants are depicted in their natural habitats. Features such as panoramic views, bold colors, and picture-in-a-picture (PIP) provide extensive visual perception that will enhance reading skills. Throughout the book, examples abound of adaptations made by animals--fiddler crabs defending themselves, the terrapin biting into a snail's shell, and the great blue heron using its beak to catch fish. In addition, pictures of river otters running, splashing, and swimming while their mother watches are striking and will appeal to young readers as they relate to their mothers watching while they play.

The story of cordgrass drinking salt water and spitting the salt out in order to preserve the salt marsh will fascinate young readers. In addition, two types of Spartina grass are discussed in this dynamic ecosystem--one type providing food, fertilizing the grass in the marsh, and producing "wrack," a floating pile of grass which provides food and refuge for small animals in the sea. On the other hand, another type called "alterniflora" is a weed that is growing too fast and destroying the habitat of valuable marsh plants. Kurtz also explains the importance of the salt marsh as a protector of our inland waterways and coastline.

In the section "For Creative Minds" several activities are listed, some of which may be downloaded or photocopied. These activities will pique the curiosity of young readers and will appeal to parents and teachers. Further, teachers will be able to develop interdisciplinary lessons in math, science, and geography. The format, with rhyming verses, makes the book interesting and fun to read. - Jean B. Worsley, Retired Biology Teacher

Children's Literature Comprehensive Database - July 2007

From sun up to sundown, interesting changes take place in a salt marsh. Readers get a close up view of these changes when they read the tantalizing rhyming verses in this book. The simple, but informative text, offers a pleasing way to highlight hour to hour salt marsh activities. Featured creatures include birds, crabs, a terrapin, periwinkle snails, dolphins, fish, otters, a heron, and oysters. Information about their habitats is also available. Descriptive passages allow the reader to come away with the feeling of actually having been at the salt marsh for a visit. Illustrations with insets and text boxes add a striking visual appeal. End material contain sections on matching up salt marsh critters and their names, a tidal activity, explanations about what causes tides, why marshes are important, and information about Spartina grass. This book is sure to be a welcome addition for pre-school and early grade classrooms as they study creatures and habitats. - Nancy Attebury

Book Talk - October 2007

A Day in the Salt Marsh is just that, beginning as the sun comes up and ending as the sun goes down. "The sun's coming up in the salt marsh, and the birds respond with song. If you decide tos tay awhile, you'll see changes all day long." Each page is written in rhyming verse and beautifully illustrated to introduce your child to the daily activities that take place from hour to hour on a typical day at the salt marshes.

At eight o'clock the fiddler crabs are dancing from left to right in the mud. At nine o'clock the terrapin is eating snails. The dolphin chases a school of small fish at twelve o'clock. Enjoy the otters as they run, splash, and play at three o'clock. The oysters come out; they no longer hide at six o'clock. The story ends as the sun goes down the salt marsh; the day is almost through. But if you're back tomorrow, you'll see other changes too!

The great thing about Arbordale books along with an entertaining story and colorful illustrations is the "For Creative Minds" section in the back of all their books. After reading and enjoying this story your child will have fun watching the description of the Salt Marsh animals with the appropriate picture. Also in the back of this fascinating book you will find information about high and low tides; their cause and effect. There is also a full page of interesting facts about the very unique spartina grass that surrounds the salt marsh.

All the facts in Salt Marshes were verifed by Susan-Marie Stedman, Wetland Team Leader at NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation. A Day in the Salt Marh is available at your favorite local or online bookstore. For more info and fun things to do, check out their website -Shirley LaBusier

A Readable Feast ( - September 2007

Do you have a salt marsh near you? I grew up near one in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. We had a field trip there in sixth grade, and I can still remember all the things I learned about including how to safely eat a prickly pear cactus. (Yes, there are wild cacti in on the Jersey Shore. Who knew?)

Sandy Hook is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area and according to their fall newsletter, they're having a salt marsh walk on November 3, 2007 at 2 p.m. If you live in the New York City/Jersey Shore area, you should check it out. Don't forget to bundle up! I remember going fishing with my dad out on the ocean side of Sandy Hook in the winter, and boy was it windy and cold.

If you want to learn more about salt marshes, check out A Day in the Salt Marsh by Kevin Kurtz and illustrated by Consie Powell from Arbordale Publishing. Rhyming verse introduces you and your child to marsh animals and plants. I really enjoyed how each page showed the hourly changes in the marsh as the tide comes and goes.

As with all Slyvan Dell books, a “For Creative Minds” section is at the end of the book. You can play a salt marsh plants and animals matching game or learn more about tides and tidal animals. You can also download a PDF of a Teaching Activity Guide.)

Tampa Bay Parent Guide - June 2008

This children's book explores the natural beauty of the salt marshes with an hour-by-hour depiction of the rhythm of life in the marsh. Filled with beautiful illustrations and short poems, the book resonates with those of us in Florida who see these amazing areas every day.

Armchair Interviews - July 2007

If you spend a day in the salt marsh, you’ll notice an amazing, ever-changing environment. The salt marsh is home to many types of wildlife including crabs, snails, dolphins, otters, birds, fish and oysters, as well as grasses that don’t die even though they are often covered with salt water.

You and your children can learn much about this dynamic habitat in A Day in the Salt Marsh. Set to rhyme, the text tells, hour by hour, what may happen as the tide rises and falls. Readers learn some animal behaviors and interesting tidbits about this ecosystem.

As a science teacher who believes strongly in the read-aloud, I see this book as an interesting class discussion starter. It provides several jumping-off points for further study. The illustrations are unique in that they show both a close-up view as well as a far off view in the same page, but it doesn’t feel disjointed like it may sound. They are really quite lovely. The rhyming cadence is a touch clunky, but not unbearable and after a couple reads, an experienced read-alouder will sail right through.

Overall, this is a neat picture book on a less familiar topic. And for those who wish to learn more (or for those science teachers among us), there are additional activities at the end of the book.

Armchair Interviews says: This book will be of great use to broaden, particularly, a land-locked child’s horizons. - Jamie Driggers

Children's Book Reviews - July 2007

Why are salt marshes important? This question is posed on one of the activity pages. This beautiful book answers just that query. A salt marsh can stretch for miles with a seeming simplicity, yet this book points to the teeming symbiotic salt marsh life nearly hidden out of sight. A Day in the Salt Marsh takes the young reader hour by hour through the day, watching the changes as the tide goes in and out.

Author Kevin Kurtz has compiled a vast array, in rhyme, of fascinating information about life in the salt marsh. Illustrator Consie Powell perfectly matches the text with her triads of illustrations of every foldout page. Each one shows a different aspect of the highlighted animal or plant, such as the dolphin close up, dolphins breaking water in the distance, and the above and below water life nearby! Each section of illustration flows into the other. The book will create in young readers who live inland from coasts and the Gulf a desire to visit them someday. In the meantime, a great unit can be formed with just the information presented here. A fascinating read for children 3 – 7. - Judith Nasse

Laura Williams' Musings - October 2007

Have you ever wondered about life in the marshes when the tide comes in? A Day in the Salt Marsh takes you on a journey through a full day from the tide slowing coming in until it goes out at the end of the day.

You learn about fiddler crabs, periwinkle snails, blue crabs, cordgrass, and more in this wonderful book for children.

The author leads you through the book in rhyme while telling you about a few of the marine life, plants, etc. that live and grow in a salt marsh.

My children were captivated by the beautiful illustrations in the book. They were finding creatures on the pages as I was reading the story to them.

In the back of the book, you will find a section titled For Creative Minds. There are two pages to quiz the child about the book in which a child matches the photos with the descriptions. Information about Tidal Animals Activity, What Causes Tides, and a couple of other pages that will have your children learning more about Salt Marshes.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to have an educational book to read to their children or students that gives them the basis to want to learn more about life in a salt marsh or salt marshes as whole.

I give this book a bright line of 5 stars. -Laura Williams

Texas Kitchen - July 2017

This is the story of “A Day in the Salt Marsh”. Author, Kevin Kurtz, tells it so well. He goes into detail of each subtle change the marsh goes through in a day. These are the changes most people do not stop and take the time to see. The creatures and their habits, the rise and fall of tides, the sights and sounds of life in the salt marsh. Love the illustrations. They show above and below the water line so readers can explore the entire marsh. Written with educating the reader about this fascinating habitat “A Day in the Salt Marsh” is a great way to get some earth science into your little one’s mind. Includes Arbordale’s Creative Minds section which I have come to love.

M. G. Paregian - May 2019

This 32-page fascinating story is available in hardcover and paperback. "The sun's coming up in the salt marsh, and the birds respond with song. If you decide to stay awhile you'll see changes all day long." Stay awhile – and enjoy the beauty and adventure to be found in this dramatic artwork and suspenseful story. Also included at the back of this helpful book for children, an informative section on "Salt Marsh Plants and Animals" and more.