Project Description


At the Sea Floor Café

Odd Ocean Critter Poems

by Leslie Bulion
illustrated by Leslie Evans

Witty poems and elegant artwork introduce what’s on the menu for some unusual undersea creatures.

The ocean covers two-thirds of our planet. It is Earth’s largest ecosystem, full of organisms living in wildly different and even extreme environments. This clever collection of poems for kids describes the devious and surprising methods ocean denizens use to forage for food, capture prey, and trick predators. The poems bobble and swim effortlessly from page to page, leading readers from the snailshell home of the jeweled anemone crab to a raft of violet snails hanging upside down in their bubble houses.

At the Sea Floor Café includes science notes with details about each animal’s behavior, a glossary, and poetry notes explaining the types and forms of poems that appear on each spread. Striking linoleum prints round out this title, which can be used across the curriculum.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-565-2
Publication Date: 4/1/2011
Page Count: 48
Size: 5-1/2″ x 8-1/4″
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Price: $7.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-920-9
Publication Date: 3/1/2016
Page Count: 48
Size: 5-1/2″ x 8-1/4″
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English
AR Level: 6.3
GRL: S, Gr 4
Lexile: NC1130L
Themes: Exploration, Marine Life, Poetry, Science
BISAC 1: JNF051100 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Science & Nature / Environmental Science & Ecosystems
BISAC 2: JNF037020 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Science & Nature / Environmental Conservation & Protection
BISAC 3: JNF003120 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Animals / Insects, Spiders, etc.


“This gathering of humorous poetry and fascinating facts should be welcomed as a companion to Bulion and Evans’ previous collaboration, Hey There, Stink Bug! (2006)even the surprise among the school of krill on the endpapers will make readers smile.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Beguiling lines should spark readers’ interest in poetry and marine biology alike” ―Publishers Weekly

“The attractive design features appealing colors and block-print illustration” ―School Library Journal

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“Poetry and prose describe various fascinating creatures. Hand-colored block prints enliven each page. Includes glossary, sources, and information about the poetic forms.” ―Bank Street College of Education

“Light and humorous overall, the collection employs a variety of poetic techniques and forms…Leslie Evans’ hand-colored block prints are a striking complement to the text.” ―Parents’ Choice

“How do you categorize a book full of delightful poems, intriguing sea creature facts, and the specifics on how to replicate the poetry forms? Librarians will wrestle with this problem, but finding readers for this book will be no problem… an irresistible addition to both school and library collections. Perhaps a copy in both poetry and nature is in order so that the book is not overlooked.” ―Children’s Literature

“The poems swim effortlessly from page to page, leading readers from the snail shell home of the jeweled anemone crab on the ocean floor, to a violet snail hanging upside down in its bubble house on the sea’s surface” ―Good Morning Connecticut

“This little gem is masterfully crafted with both a poem and an informational paragraph about a sea creature on each page. As kids read about snapping shrimp and Osedax worms (among others), they will be amazed at the way Bulion, who holds a graduate degree in oceanography among other things, artfully integrates key content into her poems.” ―Perfect Pairings

“Poems introduce sea creatures and their habitats using different poetic forms (e.g., concrete, for two voices). Factual information is provided with each poem. This small, attractive collection concludes with where to find out more and a brief explanation of the poetic forms.” ―Reading Rockets

“The book’s 18 poems explore fish, squid, and lesser-known marine animals like the coconut octopus; next to each poem is a brief description about the creature in the poem. But what makes this book super cool is that the poems are written in different styles. In the back of the book each poem’s style is explained, which can help everybuggy learn to write a similar poem!” ―Spider Magazine for Kids

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Parents’ Choice Recommended Award ―Parents’ Choice Foundation, 2011

Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12 ―National Science Teachers Association, Children’s Book Council, 2012

Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education, 2012

Eureka! Gold Nonfiction Children’s Book Award ―California Reading Association, 2011

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Young Adult Top Forty ―Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, 2012

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Meet the Author

Leslie Bulion is the author of several children’s books, including Uncharted WatersThe Trouble With Rules, and Fatuma’s New Cloth, winner of the African Studies Association’s 2002 Children’s Africana Books. She lives in Connecticut. You can visit  her website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Leslie Evans graduated with a degree in printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design and has worked as a designer and illustrator for many years. She is the illustrator of numerous children’s books, including Faces of the Moon and Hey There, Stink Bug! She lives in Massachusetts. You can visit her website here.