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Mister Seahorse

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  2,574 Ratings  ·  273 Reviews
When Mrs. Seahorse lays her eggs, she does it on Mr. Seahorse's belly! She knows he will take good care of them. While he swims waiting for the eggs to hatch, he meets some other underwater fathers caring for their babies: Mr. Tilapia, who carries his babies in his mouth; Mr. Kurtus, who keeps his on his head; and Mr. Catfish, who is baby-sitting his young hatchlings.


Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 26th 2004 by Philomel Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Mar 21, 2017 Mischenko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle is a very colorful story that introduces children to "male mothers" who are left responsible to care for the eggs.

It's super colorful like other Carle books, but what we loved most about it was the intermittent clear pages that cover and hide other fish. Children will love the discoveries they find underneath. It's also a good size hardcover with large pages and text.

Mar 21, 2012 Manybooks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young children interested in ecology, science, sea creatures
With a simple, informative text, combined with Eric Carle's magical, colourful illustrations (I love all of them, but I think my favourite is the depiction of the lion fish hiding among the coral reefs), this absolute gem of a picture book demonstrates in a fun, but educational manner that especially in the ocean, it is often the male of the species that hatches and watches over the eggs, the new generation. Recommended for young children interested in science, sea creatures, ecology, Mister Sea ...more
Mar 01, 2017 Darcy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baby-h-books
This book is beautiful to look at! I beamed with delight as soon as Mom held it up in front of me. She said she likes how it "subtly challenges gender norms by highlighting fathers engaged in child-rearing activities." I don't know what a "gender" is, but I have a great-grandpa and he is a Norm. Whatever you say, Mom! -M
This is such a fun book! I love Eric Carle stuff, anyway, but hadn't tried anything new for awhile. (The Very Hungry Caterpillar and I go WAY back!) This has all the whimsy and color that makes Carle's art so distinct, and some fun surprises for kids like film-y pages with seaweed and such painted on them so it appears that certain fish are hiding behind it until you turn that page. What is especially fun is that the book is about fathers caring for their young (eggs). I didn't realize that the ...more
Feb 11, 2009 Ruhama rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Seahorse and Mrs. Seahorse are going to be parents! Mrs. Seahorse lays the eggs in Mr. Seahorse’s pouch and then he has the job of taking care of those eggs until they hatch. As he waits, he meets several other father fish who are in charge of their eggs or babies. In the end, the babies successfully leave Mr. Seahorse and his life goes back to “normal.” This is a beautiful book, in typical Eric Carle style, with amazing artwork and soft colors befitting the ocean. The storyline, however, le ...more
Lauren Fidler
the art in this book is beautiful. the story creeps me out.

the narrative begins with mrs. seahorse wiggling and waggling and doing some sort of weird babydance and putting some eggs into mr. seahorse's pouch.

i love a little sex in my books, but the procreative habits of seahorses doesn't really scream "bedtime story!" to me.

then, mr. seahorse traverses the ocean where he meets several other men who are carrying their own baby-eggs safely across the waters (while passing hidden fishies along the
Jun 30, 2010 Anners rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Repetitive and bizarre, this story might just be the only Eric Carle book I’m not wild about. I picked it up before picture book time once, thinking to myself "Anything by Eric Carle must be at least decent, right?" Big mistake. You know those picture books that are just plain *strange*? -- the ones where the illustrations don't make sense or overshadow the plot line, or where the narrative is pointless and pedantic? This is one of those books. The story, clearly intended to instruct children on ...more
Jan 06, 2008 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very cute celebration of fatherhood--just when I need it most.
Julia Brumfield
Dec 09, 2016 Julia Brumfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, book
This was an interesting story to see and it should have been a giveaway as to the story since it is Mister Seahorse. Instead I was thinking there may be another story about maybe a rainbow sea horse but pleasantly it is about learning male parenting strategies under the sea whether the male is the one guarding the eggs, watching the young, carrying the eggs, etc.

And upon looking at the reviews I know there were a few readers who thought the end was cold but he being true to a male seahorse. Th
Nov 07, 2011 Kelley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Critique- Picture Book/Laura Ingalls Wilder Award

Mr. Seahorse must care for Mrs. Seahorses’ eggs until they hatch. As he is waiting for the eggs to develop and hatch, he drifts through the sea and he meets other father fish that are taking care of eggs as well. By the end of the story the baby seahorses hatch and must begin life on their own.

a. Illustrations/Pictures
b. The illustrations are done in very vivid colors, and in the technique that is very typical of Eric Carle, through collage/water
Simon Joseph
Nov 14, 2011 Simon Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mister Seahorse tells the story of a father-to-be seahorse, and his encounters with a variety of other male sea creatures who are also awaiting little ones - and who are all acting as 'primary carers'.

We meet Mr. Tilapia, who is holding his eggs in his mouth, Mr. Kurtus, who holds them on his head, and many other expectant new age dads.

The message gets a bit lost at one point - for example, when Mr. Bullhead says he is 'babysitting' - and it seems as if perhaps more could have been made of the
Nov 22, 2012 Felicia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Another where I can appreciate the sentiment. Fathers can nurture their children too. But, it's another that is full of clunky mouth fulls of repetition. I know that young children like repetition, but my son does not particularly care for this kind.

And, frankly, some of the dialogue just creeps me out. Also, the part about the father "babysitting" his children rubbed me the wrong way, and seemed like a misstep in a book about how dads can be awesome too. It's parenting, not babysitting! Geeze
Jan 16, 2009 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
I thought this was a wonderful story about various sea creatures, demonstrating a few examples in nature where the father takes an active role in either caring for the eggs or the babies (or perhaps both). This is a typically illustrated book for Mr. Carle and our girls enjoyed the drawings and the vellum pages that hide a few surprising fish. Overall, a great story that provides an opportunity to generate a few questions/discussion between parent and child. We've read this book a few times.
Apr 07, 2009 ABC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: younger-kids
This is about a papa seahorse whose carries his female partner's eggs around. (We only see her at the beginning.) He meets other male fish who also take care of their young. At the end, the baby seahorses leave him to be on their own.

This book was neat because it told about various kinds of fish. Also, it showed dads as caretakers of children.
The nice thing about this book was that it teaches how in some fish families, the male takes care of the eggs. However, I don't care for Carle's art, and the repetition of Mr. Seahorse meeting other fish was too, well, repetitive. The gimick of the overlay pages seemed to be just that--a gimick.
Danielle Mootz
May 31, 2016 Danielle Mootz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books
This is a beautiful book. Mister Seahorse explores the very important roles daddy's have in the sea world. The illustrations are vibrant with a surprise of transparency pages that delighted my children to touch and see.
♫✯Em loves Hollenstein✯♫❤pizza rolls over gender roles❤Don't fall in love with the moment and think you're in love with the girl
this definitely has a bit of repetition and became a bit monotonous after a while, and also kind of didn't make sense at times- i don't understand why some parts were necessary or relevant- but very aesthetically pleasing. I did prefer it as a child.
Jan 17, 2017 Shelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My son loves this book. It gets read every day, twice a day. He loves the part where there are hidden fish and the story in general. I like that it shows fish fathers in parenting roles.
Brenda Quinones
Really great book. Vibrant illustrations. Gives children the opportunity to learn about some of the different male animals in the ocean that take care of their young before and after birth. Add new words to children’s vocabulary.
Cordellya Smith
Jan 31, 2017 Cordellya Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eric Carle books never disappoint. If you have a child that is interested in sea creatures, he or she will love the story this book tells and the eye-catching, colorful pictures on every page.
Jyothi Gispanski
CC: father and child, sea horses, fishes
Shraddha Kapadia
Carle, Eric. Mister Seahorse (2004). Puffin.

The story focuses on a father seahorse who looks after the eggs Mrs. Seahorses laid. As he drifts through the sea carrying eggs, he comes across hidden sea creatures. More importantly, he comes across a stickleback, a tilapia, a kurtus, and a pipe fish, who are also all working to take care of their future offspring until they hatch just like him. This picture book is an endearing tale about the birthing process for some sea creatures.

The strength is
May 31, 2015 Katherine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-stuff
Acclaimed illustrator Eric Carle’s latest picture book, Mister Seahorse, is a subtle tale about fatherly love and responsibility. The story has its origins in the somewhat surprising fact that it is the male seahorse that cares for the eggs until they hatch. The plot of the story is deceptively simple. Mrs. Seahorse lays some eggs and Mr. Seahorse carries them though the ocean on his pouch, protecting them until they are ready to hatch. Along the way, he meets several other species of fish in wh ...more
Amanda Megee
Title: Mister Seahorse
Author: Eric Carle
Illustrator: ----
Genre: Picture book
Theme(s): Animals, eggs/reproduction, fatherly love/appreciation
Opening line/sentence: “Mr. and Mrs. Seahorse drifted gently through the sea.”
Brief Book Summary: Mrs. Seahorse lays the eggs, but Mr. Seahorse is the one that carries them for the length of the “pregnancy.” Throughout the story he comes in contact with other male fishes that also have a large part in caring for their offspring.
Professional Recommendation/R
Mama Bibliosoph
What we love about this book:

-Animal characters.
-The art is special and interesting, but not confusing.
-Carle's collage technique can be used to inspire collage-making (cutting and pasting).
-Lots of smart, deliberate repetition of key words, phrases, and story patterns help children track what's happening, motivating them to attend. I believe kids feel secure (safe even) and proud of themselves when they can anticipate the next line.
-Carle signals to children when the book is about to transition
Kristin Gardner
Mister seahorse is a very original book. I have not read too many children's books quite like this one. I enjoyed reading this story because it celebrates fatherhood. It teaches children that raising a child is not only the mother's responsibility. The only thing I did not like about this story is a line in the book where Mr. Bullhead says "Mrs. Bullhead laid her eggs and the eggs hatched, now I am baby-sitting." I do not see fatherhood as babysitting. Fatherhood is a responsibility just like mo ...more
Rosendo Ortiz
Feb 22, 2017 Rosendo Ortiz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Wonderful book for early childhood, being that it's from the same author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The illustrations are very appealing to children, and it's a great story in general that keeps them interested. It's a great way to introduce children to the fact that some fish have different ways of taking care of their young.
Tamara GTC
This book was colorful and presented a large array of different fish. It told a story of how daddy's play a part in sharing the resposibility of child rearing. I enjoyed it. We need more books that model good roles of daddies.
Tori Underwood
This short story is about Mr. Seahorse and his journey as he carries the eggs that contain his children. He meets various other kinds of male fish along the way that are all caring for their babies as well.

I really enjoyed this book! I loved the illustrations and learned about how different kinds of fish were born!

I would use this book in my classroom during a sea unit as an educational book about how different fish are born. I would possibly even relate the book to the topic of culture highl
Dana Franklin
Feb 20, 2017 Dana Franklin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The seahorse is caring for the babies and runs into fish that are also having babies. This teaches children that being caring is very important every day.
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Eric Carle (born June 25, 1929) is a children's book author and illustrator, most famous for his book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which has been translated into over 30 languages. Since The Very Hungry Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than seventy books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote, and more than 71 million copies of his books have sold around ...more
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