Hatched on a sandy shore, a green sea turtle swims to sea, makes her home in a coral reef where there are “lots of surprises,” and when fully mature, returns to her home shore to lay eggs for a new generation.
Without anthropomorphizing in any way, Malnor uses the turtle’s experience to introduce the inhabitants of a coral reef, from the polyps who secrete the hard coral structure through fish that make their homes there to tiger sharks, the top predator in that ecosystem. Each spread offers a two-level text: a short narrative and a rhyming, summarizing couplet. Watercolor illustrations are accurate enough for easy identification—even of the author as she dives in the reef. A “Featured Creatures” appendix provides further explanation for each spread, introducing the most important inhabitants. The thumbnails in “Illustrious Additions” identify other creatures shown in the paintings. A world map shows where coral reefs can be found, and there is a page of teaching suggestions and further sources. What distinguishes this simple introduction is its breadth and accuracy. Important concepts are included but, appropriately for the age, there are no tragedies.
Readers and listeners will come away with an appreciation for the complexity and interdependence of the coral reef world. Kiki’s reef is the place to be. (Informational picture book. 4-9)
–Kirkus Reviews – Vicky Smith (Jan. 17, 2014
This endearing little sea turtle will delight young and old alike as she takes readers on a journey through her busy reef and the cycle of her life. As with previous Dawn Publications, the book is multi-leveled and designed to be interactive. The engaging illustrations, descriptive story line, and brief summary rhymes at the bottom of the pages will allow readers to absorb as much or as little information as they wish each time they visit Kiki and her friends. The illustrations are dense with sea life, activity, and surprises. I found myself smiling again and again as I followed Kiki through her lively underwater world. Let customers know that the book will be a perfect precursor to an aquarium visit or the purchase of a fish tank.
— Retailing Insight – Anna Jedrziewski (December 23, 2013)
On Kiki’s Reef is a beautifully illustrated children’s nature book about a green sea turtle named Kiki who survives to adulthood and lives on a colorful coral reef in the ocean. Kiki begins her life as a tiny hatchling sea turtle who scrambles to the ocean with her brothers and sisters, many of whom do not survive. Kiki is smart and brave, she paddles the large ocean and hides in seaweed from predators and survives her first 6 years. by then her shell is brighter and her flippers are stronger. She finds a wonderful new home the color of rainbows in a huge coral reef. she seas many examples of partnership in the creatures around her, like the clownfish and the anemone. Kiki herself partners with a gang of tangs who help keep her shell clean of algae by nibbling and eating the algae crusted on her shell. Wrassers also help clean some fish’s mouths and teeth. Kiki knows to beware some fish such as sharks which can crack her shell and eat her. Other creatures such as the seahorse use camouflage to help them survive in the ocean and reef. Kiki is quite comfortable in her coral reef home, as she recognizes both friends and creatures that threaten danger to her. She even sees a human diver snorkeling among the reef. Kiki manages to escape a fisherman’s net and make it back to her island where she lays her eggs. then Kiki returns to her coral reef home in the ocean. Written in entertaining verse and filled with accurate facts and information about the ocean life of sea turtles, “On Kiki’s Reef” is designed to appeal to children ages 3-8. It’s educational value is undeniable, and the beautiful colored illustrations provide accurate portraits of many reef and sea creatures. The end of the book contains further educational material including a thumbnail portrait list of featured creatures, teaching treasures or suggested learning activities, more thumbnail portraits and bios, and a map showing coral reefs of the world.
— Midwest Book Review – James Cox (April 2014)
This wonderful story follows Kiki, a green sea turtle, as she grows and explores her undersea world, a coral reef. She starts as a baby, emerging from her egg and heading for the sea. She’s one of the lucky babies to reach the water, dodging birds and crabs. She grows and eats among the seaweed. The clownfish lives in harmony with anemone. Kiki is helped by tang fish, which eat the algae that grows on her shell. Groupers and wrasse also live in harmony. She must be careful of barracuda and sharks, especially tiger sharks. Kiki observes a seahorse’s camouflage, a parrotfish chewing among the coral, an octopus grabbing shrimp and snails, and a human diver. She barely escapes the human’s net. But Kiki does survive to lay her eggs and complete the cycle of life.
Hunner’s illustrations are vivid depictions of what it must be like underwater. The reader gets a you-are-there feeling from the beautiful colors and many details.
The last several pages discuss many facts about the creatures Kiki encounters. The author presents numerous reading activities and online resources, making this book a valuable teaching tool. The publisher’s website, dawnpub.com, is rich in resources, including teacher guides. Second graders and up will enjoy the story and learn a lot about turtles and ecosystems in general.
— Grade Reading – Sue Podusk (January 2014)
On Kiki’s Reef is a well-researched and wonderfully illustrated story of a green sea turtle’s journey from egg to adulthood. Kiki’s adventure is a great way to teach children about the amazing world of sea turtles and the wonders of our ocean ecosystem. We are pleased to be able to recommend this entertaining and informative book.
— Georgia Sea Turtle Center (August 2013)
This book follows the tale of a sea turtle called Kiki from egg to adulthood. The book shows children what life in the ocean can be like for a sea turtle and how gentle they are. The fact that not every sea turtle born makes it to adulthood is gently shared with children.
The illustrations are beautiful. The coral reefs and sea animals are easy to identify and draw a child’s attention. My son loved the illustrations, he kept pointing to “turtle.”
The life cycle of a sea turtle is educational yet fun. I think this would be great in a science curriculum for a young child. At the end are teaching treasures. This includes links to information on turtles, illustrations with the name of the animals, and a map of coral reefs of the world.
— Cheshire Cat Looking Glass – Jenny C. (Feb. 19, 2014)
This beautiful and informative underwater story follows the life of a green sea turtle, from birth to maturity. “A baby green sea turtle pops her head out of the sand. It’s Kiki! She just hatched from her egg buried deep below.” Along with her brothers and sisters, Kiki scrambles toward the water while avoiding predators on the beach. Once in the ocean, she searches for food and shelter, learns to distinguish between friends and enemies, and swims to a coral reef where she will live. Several years pass and Kiki returns to her beach of birth to lay her own eggs. There, another generation of sea turtles will repeat their cycle of life. Endpapers contain additional information on various sea inhabitants, teaching suggestions, and additional sources. A world map indicates the location of coral reefs.
— The Children’s Hour – Cheryl Garrigan (March 27, 2014)
On Kiki’s Reef is a beautifully illustrated educational story of a green sea turtle’s journey from egg to adulthood. I love this book because it is a great way to teach about the world of sea turtles and about the ocean. This is such a fun read, especially for children, although adults learn a lot from it to.
— An Angel’s Kiss (March 25, 2014)
Similar to The Mouse and the Meadow in story, Carol L. Malnor’s On Kiki’s Reef follows a newly hatched sea turtle through its first exploration of its world. But going beyond the mouse’s day in the meadow, we follow Kiki as she grows and eventually returns to where she was born to lay her own eggs. We meet a variety of sea creatures: a clownfish, tangs, wrasses, a barracuda, a shark, a seahorse, a parrotfish, an octopus, all living around the coral reef she now calls home. But she soon returns to the beach, and starts the journey for a whole new set of baby sea turtles, some of which will make it, and others not so lucky. On Kiki’s Reef demonstrates an animal’s life cycle perfectly for young readers, with Trina L. Hunner’s paintings depicting the vivid color palette of ocean creatures and habitats. For the informational section, Malnor includes prompts to learn about the different species of sea turtles and links for how people can help sea turtles. She also describes many other animals shown throughout the book, and there’s a map showing where coral reefs are in the world’s oceans.
— Exploring Portlands Natural Areas – Michael Barton (March 26, 2014)
Can you tell whether a coral is an animal or a plant? What sorts of plants and animals live in the reefs which they form? Kiki is a baby green sea turtle which has just hatched on the beach and scrambles off into the ocean where she eventually winds up living in a coral reef. Corals are little animals whose bodies build rock-like skeletons which form coral reefs. Coral reefs are found all over the world in tropical waters. Kiki sees all kinds of life in the reef, including the different forms of coral, clownfish, anemones, tangs, wrasses, groupers, barracudas, tiger sharks, seahorses, seagrass, parrotfish, octopi, and even a human diver.
Then one day, Kiki feels different inside and knows that it’s time to go somewhere. Can you guess where she has to go? Will she make it? Carol Malnor’s lovely, underwater story with its accurate, true-to-life text and Trina L. Hunner’s illustrations with their lush, bright watercolors combine to introduce children to the amazing habitat of the coral reef. The added features in the back include further information about sea turtles, coral, and the other creatures of the reef, plus Carol’s Teaching Treasures with ideas for use in the classroom or home and a bonus that tells about the other creatures seen in the drawings but not discussed in the text (snails, crabs, shrimp, seaworms, etc.). With the popularity of the Disney-Pixar film Finding Nemo, On Kiki’s Reef is a great nature study for kids.
About these ads
— Homeschool Book Review – Wayne Walker (March 3, 2014)
Kiki is a baby green sea turtle. Just hatched, she scrambles across the beach toward the water where surf and spray carry her away. She earts and grows, and after a handful of years she makes her home on a coral reef. The animals ther are unlike any Kiki has seen before: corals, clownfish, gourpers and cleaning fish. In a mix of prose and rhyming couplets, Malnor introduces readers to the strange and wonderful creatures of a coral reef. When its time to lay her eggs, Kiki begins her long swim home.
— Ithaca Child Magazine (April 14, 2014)
On Kiki’s Reef by Carol L. Malnor is a book that will grab your heart and have your kids asking to read it over and over. At least that is what happened in our family! A tiny baby sea turtle scrambles across the sandy beach and into the sea. Floating far out in the ocean, Kiki is becoming a gentle giant. She swims to shallower water where a rainbow of corals puts on a show. Kiki adopts the busy coral reef as her new home and discovers fish of all sizes and lots of surprises! But something keeps calling her back to the beach . . . and the circle of life continues.
— Your World Natural Blogspot – Cara Nitz (March 8, 2014)
On Kiki’s Reef is a delightful introduction to the magical, hidden world of sea turtles. Young readers will journey with Kiki as she emerges as a hatchling to start her new life in the sea – overcoming many challenges, thriving on a coral reef, and returning one day to the beach where she was born to complete the circle of life.
— David Godfrey, Executive Director, Sea Turtle Conservancy (August 2013)
Formerly a teacher, now a writer and blogger, Malnor shares information about a sea turtle’s journey. Kiki, a tiny green sea turtle safely makes it to the ocean to find her home. Eventually, she finds the coral reef and encounters many new inhabitants, such as the clownfish, anemones, grouper, and barracuda. The text contains a brief narrative and a rhyming couplet that provides a brief summary. The beautiful watercolor illustrations provide detailed pictures about the sea life and Kiki’s journey. The sea turtle returns to the beach where she was born to lay eggs. The back matter contains information about the life cycle of a sea turtle as well as information about corals and the other animals featured throughout the text. In addition, the author provides teaching suggestions and resource materials. Teachers will definitely want to partner this book with Into the Sea (1996) by Brenda Guiberson, One Tiny Turtle (2001) by Nicola Davies, Sea Turtles (1995) by Gail Gibbons, Turtle Tide: The ways of Sea Turtles (2005) and Sea Turtle Scientist (2014) by Stephen Swinburne.
— Reading Today Online – Mary Napoli (April 4, 2014)
Kiki is a baby green sea turtle with a whole bunch of brothers and sisters. Sadly, some of her siblings don’t even make it to the water because of the many predators who go after them. But Kiki does take to the sea, where she swims and grows and survives using her natural instincts. She discovers a magnificent coral reef, teeming with glorious colorful fish. She meets friendly fish and some not so friendly too. One day she is drawn back to the beach where she was born, where something truly magical happens. On Kiki’s Reef is the story of Kiki’s survival and all the wonders of the reef, complemented by lovely and bright watercolor illustrations by artist Trina Hunter.
In the back of the book you’ll find a two-page spread of Featured Creatures, with more detail about the life cycle of sea turtles, coral and other living things one might find in a reef. There’s also a page with the author’s Teaching Tips and activities as well as a page of Illustrious Additions, with small illustrations and descriptions of ten more common reef fish.
Why You Should Read This Book
There’s a story within the story of On Kiki’s Reef. Author Carol Malnor tells the tale of Kiki and complements it with two lines of poetic rhyme on each two-page spread. Children will learn a lot about coral reefs both from the prose and from the illustrations, which by the way are really beautiful. The artist uses such delightful vivid eye-catching colors capturing the attention of the reader. Children learn not only about the challenges of the sea turtle, but the ecosystem of a reef as well. The more detailed descriptions of the reef in the back of the book are fascinating and will make readers want to learn more about protecting the world’s precious reefs. There’s even a colorful map of the world, in the inside back cover, showing where all the earth’s coral reefs can be found. Be sure to check out all the downloadable activities for this book.
— Smart Books for Smart Kids – Debbie Glade (June 6, 2014)
Author Carol L. Malnor based her new book, On Kiki’s Reef, on her own visit to a coral reef. This story introduces to readers sea turtles as well as other fascinating inhabitants of a coral reef. The book reminded me of my own visit to Maui, diving among the fish and sea turtles in the warm Pacific Ocean.
Readers first meet Kiki the sea turtle when she emerges from an egg that was buried in the sand. After she takes her first perilous crawl to the water, she dives beneath the waves. After six years in the open ocean, she discovers a coral reef in the shallow waters near the shore. There she encounters many creatures: anemones, clownfish, tang fish, groupers, and wrasses. The tangs help keep Kiki’s shell clean; the wrasses clean inside the groupers’ mouths.
Each page alternates between narrative prose describing Kiki’s world and two lines of rhyming verse. On one page, readers learn about deadly fish such as barracuda and tiger sharks, and on the facing page, related information follows: “Kiki knows so very well/A shark’s strong jaws can crack her shell.”
After finishing Kiki’s story, readers can learn more by reading the sections about “Featured Creatures,” which include short descriptions of the animals described in the story, and parents can take advantage of “Carol’s Teaching Treasures,” which offer enrichment activities to accompany the story. A map on inside of the back cover highlights the world’s coral reefs.
This gentle story, along with colorful, flowing, full-page illustrations by Trina L. Hunner, make On Kiki’s Reef a pleasurable book to share with all children on any day, including a sunny day at the beach.
— Vegbooks – Andrea Zollman (April 28, 2014)
The vibrant, colorful story follows Kiki, a tiny baby sea turtle as she scrambles across the sandy beach and into the sea. Floating far out in the ociean, Kiki is becoming a gentle giant. She swims to shallower water where a rainbow of corals puts on a show. Kiki adopts the buys coral reef as her new home and discovers fish of all sizes and lots of surprises! But something keeps calling her back to the beach… and the circle of life continues. A delightful read for your little beach-lover!
— Green Child Magazine (Summer 2014)
A tiny baby sea turtle scrambles across the sandy beach and into the sea. Floating far out in the ocean, Kiki is becoming a gentle giant. She swims to shallower water where a rainbow of corals puts on a show. Kiki adopts the busy coral reef as her new home and discovers fish of all sizes and lots of surprises! But something keeps calling her back to the beach … and the circle of life continues.
— Susan Heim on Parenting Blog, Chicken Soup for the Soul Editor (Feb. 19, 2014)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this unique children’s book that documents the adventures in the daily life of a green sea turtle. It paints a vivid image of the crucial relationships among marine animals. And what’s more, it is biologically accurate! We highly commend publications such as On Kiki’s Reef that entertain, as well as educate, children about our ocean resources and marine life. I wish something of this standard had been around when I was a kid!
— Andrew Rossiter, Ph.D., Waikiki Aquarium Director (August 2013)
Dawn Publications offers a variety of nature related books for children in hopes of instilling a better understand and appreciation of our natural world and the creatures that live in it. You may remember my reviews of the Dawn Pub board books Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme and Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef from several months ago. These are wonderful books to introduce younger children to different habitats and the exotic animals that live in them. Today’s book up for review, On Kiki’s Reef, is no different!
Appropriate for ages 4-10, On Kiki’s Reef explores the life of a green sea turtle and the coral reef where she lives. Along the way children will discover where sea turtles are born, where they live in different stages of their life, what they eat, and more. They’ll also be introduced to friends (and foes) of Kiki the green sea turtle that live in and around her coral reef home, such as anemones, clown fish, tiger sharks, barracudas, tangs, wrasses, and much more.
The first thing I liked about this book was that it’s accurate and honest. I liked the “realness” of it. It’s about a fictional turtle, yes, but other than that it’s not all cutesy, if you get what I mean. Instead, it’s factual and actually includes some of the scarier parts of being a sea turtle living in the wide open ocean, such as the threat of being eaten by a tiger shark and getting caught in fishermen’s nets. It’s not meant to scare children, but be factual and hopefully foster an appreciation of the turtle. I also liked that the information about the ocean life is written in such a way that it’s interesting to children. It’s very straightforward and not wordy, so kids won’t get bored or bogged down with TOO MUCH information.
For kids that are at the older end of the age range that the book is geared towards, there are activity ideas at the end of the book as well. These are great for expanding upon and helping kids to remember what they learned. The activities would work well for regular classrooms or a homeschool setting. There are also several pages that give more information on the creatures featured in the book, such as the grouper, parrotfish, and seahorse, which I thought was really neat. Yes, I actually read through them, and yes, I actually learned a few things! There is even a map of the world that highlights where coral reefs are as well.
If you’re looking for a fun but informative book to introduce your children to sea creatures or add to an ocean unit at school, definitely be sure to check out On Kiki’s Reef by Carol L. Malnor!
— Getting Green with Baby (Dec. 4, 2013)
On Kiki’s Reef by Carol L. Malnor is a beautiful look at the life of a sea turtle. The book begins when Kiki, a green sea turtle, hatches from an egg and follows her as she grows up to be an adult sea turtle. Reader gets to see Kiki as she meets different animals who live with her in the coral reef.
I absolutely loved On Kiki’s Reef. Not only is it beautifully illustrated in bright watercolors by Trina L. Hunner, but it is also very educational… like all of Dawn Publication’s books. Kids and parents alike can learn about the life of a sea turtle as well as wonder of coral reefs. This picture book introduces some commonly known creatures like octopus, sharks, and different types of fish, but it also shows the symbiotic relationships between the sea turtles and other creatures that exist in the coral reef.
Another great feature of this book is what appears in the last few pages — kind of an educational supplement to Kiki’s story. There are more detailed descriptions of a sea turtle’s life along with some interesting information about the other creatures in the book. In addition, there is a map of the world showing where coral reefs exist.
— Booking Mama – Julie Peterson (March 3, 2014)
On Kiki’s Reef—lots of natural history information.It is broken up nicely though with the rhyming verses at end of each. My son said, “Catchy!”
Who isn’t fascinated by these sea creatures? Good info in back and love the fact they included a map to show where reefs are located. I am a big fan of included geography whenever and wherever possible.
— Linda Hauser, Shawnee National Forest (Feb. 20, 2014)