Sharks At Your Service

Sharks may provide us with thrills and chills, but there is serious work going on. A visit to an aquarium helps a young girl recognize the important jobs that sharks in the ocean.

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Volcano, Where Fire and Water Meet

Deep inside the earth, powerful forces are being unleashed that constantly reshape the landscape and impact the life within the ocean. Learn how volcanoes destroy and create, and how scientists know what is going on beneath our feet. Capstone Press, Mankato, MN, and Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

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Centered on the experiences photographer and diver Jeff Rotman, this set offers exciting insight into the world of sharks. Information on diving, photography, and Rotman’s life are interwoven with plenty of facts about the animals he studies. Rotman’s high-quality photographs are varied, incorporating insets, full-page images, and two-page spreads. The diver’s accounts are woven into the narrative as he describes hitching a ride on a whale shark’s fin and other daring exploits. Useful statistics, diagrams, and fact boxes provide details to support the photographer’s first-hand experiences…all four books are fresh looks at an always popular subject.             School Library Journal

Shark Expedition

Searching for Great White Sharks: A Shark Photographer’s Quest for Mr. Big Books

Capstone Young Readers, 2015

It takes a shark cage, a blood-and-fish “recipe,” patience, and courage to get up close to these powerful hunters. Discover what it’s like to meet a great white shark face-to-face.


Seeking Giant Sharks: A Shark Photographer’s Quest for Whale Sharks, Basking Sharks, and Manta Rays, Capstone Young Readers, 2015 

What has 3,000 teeth and a five-foot-wide mouth? The whale shark, the “friendliest shark in the sea,” according to diver and photographer Jeff Rotman. Big is not necessarily scary, as  Jeff proves in his encounters with school-bus-size whale sharks, timid basking sharks, and approachable manta rays.

Shark Island

Journey to Shark Island,Capstone Young Readers, 2015

Follow photographer Jeff Rotman into the shark-infested waters of Cocos Island to discover what draws so many different species of sharks to this isolated island in the Pacific Ocean.

Sharks of the Deep

Sharks of the Deep, Capstone Young Readers, 2015

Sharks don’t deserve the bad press they get, according to diver and photographer Jeff Rotman. Dive with him to the ocean floor to see the sharks he calls “living sculptures,” from stingrays to the bizarre wobbegong shark and other facilitating species.

City Fish, Country Fish, Tilbury House Publishers, revised 2017

CityFishCountryFish Cover_06.cdr

***Starred review in School Library Journal: Cerullo contrasts the lives of fish in tropical waters with those of their relatives in colder ocean regions. Rotman’s outstanding photos illuminate the underwater world with close-up views of tiny reef dwellers and unusual cold-water inhabitants such as the goosefish. Design and layout reinforce the contrasts Cerullo identifies, making this a first-rate choice for browsers as well as students interested in ocean life.–Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Different fish live in different parts of the ocean and have to adapt in different ways. This book compares fish that live in the tropics, where the water is warm, to people that live in the city and fish that live in the cold ocean waters to people in the country. …This book is really fun because it compares all sorts of things that are different for these two types of fish, like the amount of food in the water, how the fish get their food, how closely together the animals live, how far they swim, and their ways of avoiding predators and other things they have to do to survive. The photographs are beautiful and show you pictures of lots of different species of fish that live in both places. This is a great book you will enjoy if you want to learn about our beautiful ocean and the fish that live in it! Reviewed By: Rachel, Age 9


Giant Squid: Searching for a Sea Monster by Mary M. Cerullo with Clyde F. E. Roper.

Selected as an Outstanding Science Trade Book for 2013 by the National Science Teachers Association & Children’s Book Council.  This book is a partnership between Capstone Press and the Smithsonian Institution.

Giant Squid gets five stars for sure. Mary Cerullo’s account of the search for the giant squid reads like a detective novel, but it is the true story of Smithsonian Zoologist Dr. Clyde Roper’s decades-long quest to observe this mythical-sounding creature alive in its natural habitat.” — review on


Shark Expedition: A Shark Photographer’s Close Encounters, Capstone Young Readers, 2015

“Packed with information, photographs, and nonfiction features, this book will not disappoint! Information covers the basics of free diving versus scuba diving, basic and little known facts about sharks, rays, and other sea dwelling fish, as well as, information about protecting sharks and rays from illegal hunting, finning, and over-fishing. Will be adding this gem to my school library collection soon!

I also love that this book introduces young children to the idea of having a career as an underwater photographer! Who thinks about becoming an underwater photographer at the age of 8? Who knows, this book might just inspire someone to do just that!” – Goodreads

Shipwrecks: Exploring Sunken Cities under the Sea2009, NY: Dutton

“Stunning images of undersea life including sunken ships, tropical fish, and marine exploration highlight this diverse work packed with information ranging from the discovery of the sunken slave ship Henrietta Marie to discussions of the wondrous array of sea life that makes its home within such wreckage.” – Booklist

Sea Secrets: Tiny Clues to a Big Mysterywith Beth Simmons, 2008, Lafayette, CO: Moonlight Pub.

“This book provides an inquiry pathway for young children to make their own connections…My six-year-old granddaughter and I read the book together. Before we reached the final page she said, ‘It seems like everything in this and all of us are connected like a family.’ Amazing!”- NSTA Recommends

Life Under Ice, revised 2019, Gardiner, Maine: Tilbury House

“If there were a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers of the sea, it would be Mainers Mary Cerullo and Bill Curtsinger…Mary Cerullo is the master of writing extremely detailed, yet crystal clear text that brings detail of Curtsinger’s photographs to full life.”  Curious City, Where kids and books meet

The Truth about Dangerous Sea Creatures, 2003, San Francisco: Chronicle

“Without playing down their threatening features, Cerullo introduces a different sea dweller on each spread and examines both the myths and realities about it.” – School Library Journal

Sea Turtles: Ocean Nomads, 2003, NY: Dutton

“Spectacular close-up pictures showing a variety of sea turtles in the wild and an informative, spirited text combine for a dynamic photo-essay on these ancient, endangered animals…A first-rate choice.” – School Library Journal

Sea Soup: Zooplankton, 2001, Tilbury House

“The invisible world that underlies our living ocean, admirably elucidated.” – Smithsonian Notable Books for Children

Ocean Detectives: Solving the Mysteries of the Sea (and Teacher’s Guide), 2000, Boston: Turnstone

“Cerullo offers fine scholarship throughout, the right amount of text—well-illustrated with photos—and a useful index and glossary. This is another example of the terrific factual literature being produced for today’s youth—and everyone else!” – Joan Carris, Children’s Literature

The Truth about Great White Sharks, 2000, San Francisco: Chronicle

“The attractive layout blends line drawings, full-color photographs, varied typefaces, and eye-catching graphics…This title will be accessible to reluctant readers and is a must for most collections.” – School Library Journal

Sea Soup: Phytoplankton, 1999, Gardiner, Maine: Tilbury House

“This attractive book introduces children to an area of biology they may know little about: the world of phytoplankton, plants so tiny that a million can fit in a teaspoon of sea water and so numerous that they produce half the world’s oxygen.” – Booklist

Dolphins: What They Can Teach Us, 1999, NY: Dutton

“An enchanting book about the latest research on dolphins, and how people benefit from the new information.” – Kirkus

“EHMAGOD, I LUUUUUUUVED THIS BOOK!!!!!!!” – A kid’s review in

Octopus: Phantom of the Sea, 1997: NY: Cobblehill

“With outstanding full-color photographs, this author/photographer team offers a reverent look at this changing, secretive, creature of the sea.” – School Library Journal

Reading the Environment: Children’s Literature in the Science Classroom, 1997, Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann

“This book should be within arm’s reach of every elementary teacher, librarian, and administrator, for it is a treasure chest filled with invaluable insights, references, and suggestions.” – Science and Children

Coral Reef: A City That Never Sleeps, 1996, NY: Cobblehill

“As fascinatingly fact-filled as the text is, it’s even more outstanding because of Rotman’s spectacular, full-color photographs.”                 – School Library Journal

Lobsters: Gangsters of the Sea, 1994, NY: Cobblehill

“With fine color pictures and an immediate, informative text, this lively photo-essay captures the behavior of lobsters and their relationship with the people who catch them.” –Booklist

Sharks: Challengers of the Deep
, 1993, NY: Cobblehill

“Dramatic, sometimes sensational photographs and a balanced, accessible text present both basic facts and tantalizing trivia about this animal that tops its food chain.” – School Library Journ

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