Total Pageviews

Friday, June 1, 2012

In The Sea, written by David Elliott and illustrated by Holly Meade. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2012. $19.00 ages 3 and up

"The Octopus

You appear out of the blue,
an eight-armed apparition,
then vanish in a cloud of ink.
No ghost, but a magician."

I think that I will stay with the sea theme and share with you another delightful book of poetry from David Elliott. On the Farm (Candlewick, 2008) and In the Wild (Candlewick, 2010) remain all-time favorites for sharing when I am working with children. They are great fun, and perfect mentor books for those searching for the just right word, or turn of phrase.

Here, we dive into the watery world of sea horses, sharks, octopi, and starfish. That is only the beginning. Twenty creatures find their way onto these glorious pages. Perfect for reading aloud and offering wordplay that begs discussion, readers and listeners will laugh:

"The Puffer Fish

A trickster,
A clown.
A magician.
A buffoon.
One minute
she's a fish;
the next,
she's a balloon."

and quake with fear:

"The Moray Eel

Ferocious. Cunning.
Belligerent. Brave.
A sword without its sheath,
a dragon in its cave."

Holly Meade is back to add pizazz to the project. Her woodblock artwork gives the feeling that we are floating and crawling right alongside the featured creatures. Always in motion, with water lapping at every turn of the page, she gives us images that are bold, yet gentle and that leave readers feeling a natural affinity for the sandy shores and the briny sea. The colors are breathtaking.

In preparing to write this post, I read an interview with David at in which he said, "No matter what I’m writing, I’m trying to demonstrate for young readers the power and the beauty, the resilience and the play in their language."

Mission accomplished!

No comments:

Post a Comment