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The Shell Book by Barbara Hirsch Lember

The Shell Book

by Barbara Hirsch Lember

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There are so many shells that I did not know the name for, and this book also introduced me to new shells. The shell that I found the most precious of all is the Japanese Abalone. It is found around the west coast of the United States, and it is very shinny with black dots. I would like to show this shell to students one day. Some shells are used for jewelry. The book did an excellent job of explaining the different types of shells, but it got a little overwhelming for me. Kids could learn about shells and some jewelry. ( )
  memaldonado | Apr 29, 2015 |
This book was an informational text about different shells and how to identify where each of them came from. The author uses things like shape, size, color, and texture to decipher where the shell first originated. When describing a shell called chestnut cowrie, the author wrote that it was “prized all over the world throughout history, they’ve been used as currency, ornaments, and religious symbols.” I thought it was interesting how the book incorporated some geography and history into the type of shells shown. The book also described a fighting conch by saying “when alive, its color is intense. After it dies and is tumbled about by the waves, the color fades, and it can appear white.” For the Lettered Olive, it was said that they were “used by Native Americans to make necklaces.” This helps display that the shells are more than just things children collect at the beach, they have a history and this book shows it.
I was interested in this book because I am a beach lover, however for a 10 year-old, it might not be very entertaining. I thought the book could have used more similes or child-like language to help the reader better picture the shell in the ocean, living and displaying all of the characteristics written in the book. I did like that the pictures are of the shells from different families all over the world, this way readers can see if they can find these kinds of shells on their own time in their own environments. I also found it Interesting that all of the shells once contained snails, so the book goes into detail describing traits that they undergo while still living in the ocean and are attached to the shell. ( )
  tmalon4 | Feb 16, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0395720303, Hardcover)

In this striking book of hand-tinted photographs, Barbara Hirsch Lember turns her eye toward the world of shells. Choosing fourteen shells commonly found along the shores of the United States, she reveals the stunning beauty of each one, transforming the most ordinary into the extraordinary. Each shell is photographed close-up and accompanied by a short, infor-mation-packed description. Ms. Lember describes, for instance, how Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans used to make a rich purple dye out of a yellowish fluid secreted by the Cabbage Murex when it was boiled and treated. This dye was then used to color cloth worn by emperors and Roman senators. The Shell Book is a book for anyone who has ever walked along the beach and paused to pick up a shell at their feet.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:38 -0400)

Describes a wide variety of shells, including the lion's paw, giant Atlantic cockle, and Katherine's chiton.

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