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- author Jackie French

Monday 2 November 2020

Review: Hold On! Saving the Spotted Handfish

A fascinating resource about the Critically Endangered Spotted Handfish which explores marine habitats, conservation, threats and life cycles, published by the CSIRO.

In this educational story, readers follow a cute little Handfish named ‘Handstand’ through the depths of the ocean to discover all there is to know about its species. Around since the time of dinosaurs, the Spotted Handfish is named with reference to its hand like fins and occasional ‘handstands’. With details of anatomy, size, colours, patterns, comparison of close relatives, diet, breeding and more, it’s clear that this is not your average fish.

The book goes into the Spotted Handfish’s direction toward extinction, how, why, what that means and what other animals are on the same list of IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It also looks at the amazing job scientists have done to help the Spotted Handfish back from the brink of extinction through captive breeding.

Hold On! Saving the Spotted Handfish is an informative, educational resource which would be great for primary aged readers. Teacher notes with extensive additional information are also available.

Dr Gina M Newtown is a scientist, science communicator, Past National President of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, she’s also the author of Amazing Animals of Australia’s National Parks. Rachel Tribout is an illustrator based in Tasmania and is the creator her debut title was The Monsters of Tasmania.

Title: Hold On! Saving the Spotted Handfish 
Author: Gina M Newton
Illustrator: Rachel Tribout
Publisher: CSIRO, $24.99  
Publication Date: 1 October 2020
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781486311842
For ages: 6 – 10
Type: Picture Book