Today we have a real treat, Good Eating: The Short Life of Krill by Matt Lilley and illustrated by Dan Tavis.

Krill are shrimp-like crustaceans that live in the ocean. They are incredibly important as an integral link in ocean food webs.

As the punchline of this humorous picture book says,

…krill are really good at eating and krill are really good eatin’.

Matt Lilley spells out the complex metamorphosis of one species, the Antarctic krill, Euphasia superba.  We learn about all the unusual developmental stages — some discovered not that long ago — and also about how krill can glow, shrink if there isn’t enough food, and live for a relatively long time for their size (if they aren’t eaten).

The delightful illustrations by Dan Tavis match the flavor of the text perfectly. The pink-orange color of the krill and the blue of the ocean water are a lively example of complementary colors. Plus, Tavis obviously did his homework regarding krill anatomy and metamorphosis.

Back matter includes “Krill:  Good Eating”, which explains why krill are considered to be keystone species; “More Krill Facts”; and “Learning More”, places to read more about krill.

Good Eating: The Short Life of Krill is likely to inspire budding oceanographers and marine biologists. It is a perfect read to accompany a trip to an aquarium or to the ocean. Delve into a copy today!

Related Activity Suggestions:

1. Learn more about krill and see them in action in this video.

2. What are crustaceans anyway?

Crustaceans belong the the Phylum Arthropoda or arthopods. Most live in the water, like lobsters, shrimp, crabs, crayfish, and krill, although a few live on land, such as pill bugs (previous post). Yep, pill bugs are crustaceans.

Some crustaceans are closely related to insects. Details that separate the two groups include the fact that crustaceans have two pairs of antennae (or one pair of antennules –which look like antennae– and one pair antennae). The head and thorax of crustaceans are often fused, and they have leg-like appendages on the abdomen that was used for swimming (insects only have legs on the thorax).

  • Make a poster with photographs of all the different kinds of crustaceans you can find.
  • Take a personality quiz at Monterey Bay Aquarium website to see what kind of crustacean you are (it will ask you to sign up for their newsletter, but you can skip that step.) I was a brine shrimp.

3. Visit Matt Lilley’s  website to download a free reader’s guide and coloring sheet.

4. See another review at Archimedes Notebook blog

5. Check out our growing list of ocean-themed children’s books at Science books for Kids.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 6 – 8 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Tilbury House Publishers (January 11, 2022)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0884488675
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0884488675

Disclosure: An e-arc of this book was provided for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.


Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.