Tropical fish are beautiful creatures, some showing off more than others. Author Tam Warner Minton has spent her life photographing what lies beneath the ocean. In this book she shares her collection of truly “in your face” photos of the wide variety of tropical fish. After my review I have a special bonus—an interview with Tam!

ALL FISH FACES begins with background information as to how fish and mammals are different and alike. Arranged in colorful, easy to read panels, the pages set the stage for what follows. Tropical fish are front and center with more than 70 photos. The pages include species you may be familiar with along with some not so familiar.:


Frogfish—Splendid Toadfish—Scorpionfish—Lionfish—Boxfish


Quite the impressive lineup! Information about the specie is given along with where each photo was taken. The text and photos are perfectly balanced. It’s truly a feast for your eyes. One page delves into the importance of the ecological implications and how the ocean is warming, endangering it’s population. There are helpful suggestions as to what each individual can do to change this direction.

ALL FISH FACES makes the perfect gift for the ocean lover in any family. Adults and kids alike will be in awe of fish we rarely see. Order this special book for your library today.

Tam Warner Minton joins me now at ALWAYS in the MIDDLE. I know she has to get back to the ocean soon so I won’t keep her for too long. First though a quick bio:

I am a travel writer, blogger, author, photographer and enthusiastic scuba diver. My travel blog, Travels with Tam, is about my many adventures on all seven continents.
I encourage everyone, especially kids, to participate in citizen science and volunteer travel, learn about the ocean, and perform actions to help preserve our ocean resources for now and for the future. I am honored and excited to be able to go on many scientific research expeditions all over the world,
and I want to share what I have learned and seen. As a former University Lecturer and College Consultant, I am a true believer that knowledge is power, and education is always a positive force. There’s nothing I love more than showing kids of all ages the amazing marine life beneath the waves! Encouraging our kids to care about ocean animals is the way to save the ocean for future generations. Check out my website and join my newsletter to get updates via email about my blog posts, talks, lessons, appearances and travels.

Hi Tam and thanks for stopping by ALWAYS in the MIDDLE. First off…

What is it about fish faces that gave you the idea to write this book?

The idea for the book came from my experiences in citizen science diving. My travels have led me to cage dive with great white sharks, scuba dive alongside endangered Dwarf Minke whales of the Great Barrier Reef, photograph and ID manta rays and whale sharks, and so much more. It is the power of citizen science that my fervor for travel and diving took on a new meaning. Our ocean supplies us with our very lives, and adults can be difficult to educate on the subject. My idea has been to educate our children, and through them, the adults in their lives. What better way for people to learn than through their children? We must create a new generation of marine scientists and conservationists in order to preserve our very way of life. Faces humanize animals, and by becoming enthusiastic about fish and other ocean friends, we can excite the next generation to care about our oceans. The book teaches kids how they can help make a difference. 

How has the ocean changed in the years since you first started studying and researching the mysteries below the surface?

I started snorkeling when I was a child, and I’ve been diving for over 30 years. The oceans have very sadly diminished since I began. The warming seas, chemical sunscreens, and plastic pollution have come to a critical point. Everywhere I go I see dying coral, plastic on the reefs, dead or suffering animals due to pollution and unlawful fishing practices. The pandemic has given our oceans a “breather”, but it won’t last. We must learn to manage our usage of plastics and energy in a sustainable way. Cruise ships are a huge problem in the Caribbean, our reefs are suffocated with oil and the pollution these ships dump in our waters.  

For kids who have never had the chance to snorkel or scuba dive, would it be something they’d enjoy, and if so, how early in life should they get started?

Oh how they would love it! It is like visiting another world. The fish and creatures are endlessly fascinating, the colors are incredible. The underwater world is quiet to our ears, we are mesmerized by sights we have never seen before. My children were snorkeling when they were 3 and 4 years old. I know that not all children can go to the ocean, and that is why I have created my book series, Ocean Friends, so I can show them a world they have never seen, and to teach them how important it is. If they can’t go to the ocean, I want to bring the ocean to them! 

What is the most fascinating creature and the scariest you’ve come across in your underwater adventures?

A Great White Shark is the most formidable fish I have ever seen. I had the misfortune of being in a shark cage when a Great White slammed into the cage. It was an accident, the shark was not attacking me, but it was a close call. I was lucky to escape with a bump on the head and a chewed up air hose. I’ve been around many, many sharks, and never had one behave aggressively toward me or other divers. We have to remember that sharks kill about 5 humans a year while we kill 75 to 100 million of them just to put them into chicken soup. It is a horrible practice, and we need our sharks in the water, not in our bowl.

 How can kids or anyone else get involved with saving the ocean?

The book gives kids many ideas on how they can help! Recycle, reuse, repurpose. Kids can help by doing everyday things like unplugging their devices, turning off the lights, and raising the thermostat a degree or two. I have activity sheets on my website for kids to color and learn how to save the ocean. 

Tell us a little bit about your travel blog, Travels with Tam.

Travels with Tam appeals to empty nest and over 50 travelers who have a taste for adventure, luxury, and travel that makes a difference. From the intrepid to the softly active traveler, I encourage everyone to get out of their comfort zone, to travel, to expand their knowledge and enlarge their perspective. My blog includes many photographs, including travel, food, wildlife, and underwater photography. I share stories about traveling, empty nest lifestyle, dining, luxury, cruising, adventuring, scuba diving, volun-tourism, and citizen science. We can travel, learn, have fun, and make a difference for ourselves, others and the planet, often at the same time!

Great advice. Thanks so much for spending time with us today!


Blogging about middle grade books or authors next week? Join the celebration:

All you have to do is blog about a middle grade book on a Monday (contests, author interviews, or anything middle grade related also count). Email me the title of the book or feature and a link to your blog at gpcolo[at]gmail[dot]com
Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately–and please don’t forget to say what book or author you’re featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening (11 PM Eastern Time) in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.
Thanks for spreading the middle grade love and for being a part of this awesome tradition begun by Shannon Messenger and carried on here at ALWAYS in the MIDDLE! (CLICK HERE FOR PAST MMGM POSTS)
*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Interviews, Middle Grade Book Reviews, non fiction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to ALL FISH FACES

  1. My great grandsons would love this book. They live part of the year along the ocean in Florida. They love everything about the fish, turtles and sea. Enjoyed the interview with Tam. She really has had an interesting life diving in cages along big reefs. I can see why she’d be so inspired to write and take photographs for this gorgeous book.

  2. Antoinette Truglio Martin says:

    Not only would my grandkids love this, I will need a copy for myself. Thanks for the review.

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