Let's start by explaining this title, which might seem a bit confusing for a book about cherishing marine life. Jayne M. Rose-Vallee's "Dinosaurs Living in My Hair!" (DLIMH) series weaves teachable moments into themes of embracing individual differences, celebrating friendships, and — in the case of the book at hand — appreciating and caring for marine life. The titular dinosaurs helpfully support this cause.

Readers learn that the dinosaurs have simply appeared in the hair of the four young protagonists' who, narrating in unison, admit that this manifestation is "something weird." Espuardo, Gage, Sabrina, and Faye — a racially diverse crew — happily accept this weirdness. So will readers, especially when they see Bonnie Helen Hawkins' delightfully zany illustration of otherwise perfectly normal kids with brightly colored miniature dinosaurs grinning from the their curls.

The story brings us with the children to an ocean summer camp, where:

"We'll snorkel and kayak, we'll dive and we'll swim.
We'll learn about fishes and more.
The friendly camp dog slobbers kisses on us.
We laugh as we race for the shore."

Their infectious enthusiasm extends not only to teaching their dinosaurs how to swim, but also to learning about this new ocean frontier with its hogfish, grunt fish, parrotfish, sea urchins, and more. Their perspective has a Dr. Seussian quirkiness about it: "The queen triggerfish is a beauty ... But her mustache lines make her look snooty." Inventive descriptions make each sea creature memorable.

As the children snorkel and explore, they discover lots of discarded trash and acknowledge that "the ocean floor's sick" and the coral needs protection. They also get frightened by an approaching shark until they realize he's trapped in a broken net, from which the dinosaurs help free him. Safely back on the shore, the children and dinosaurs proceed to fill a trash bag with litter and explain, "It's our job to protect our friends' reef."

Their joyful, energized involvement helps readers ages five to nine better understand marine life and the ways that it's imperiled. But even more importantly, it gives readers assurance that together with their own friends, they can make life better for Earth's creatures. A "Diving Deeper" page at the end rounds out the book with additional marine facts.

The author credits her mother with instilling in her an understanding of our shared responsibility to the common good. Her mother's selfless philanthropic spirit motivated Rose-Valee to create Literacy for Kids, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non profit. Like all DLIMH books, this one directly funds efforts toward universal literacy.