In the Sea

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Overview

A New York Times best-selling author and a Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator explore life in the ocean with clever poems and bold, expressive woodcuts.

The briny deep is home to an enormous variety of fascinating creatures, from the dainty sea horse to the fearsome shark, from the spiny sea urchin to the majestic blue whale. In striking woodcut illustrations, diverse creatures glide through blue and green waters, while succinct, witty poetry examines their behavior and ...

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Overview

A New York Times best-selling author and a Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator explore life in the ocean with clever poems and bold, expressive woodcuts.

The briny deep is home to an enormous variety of fascinating creatures, from the dainty sea horse to the fearsome shark, from the spiny sea urchin to the majestic blue whale. In striking woodcut illustrations, diverse creatures glide through blue and green waters, while succinct, witty poetry examines their behavior and interactions. In this companion volume to On the Farm and In the Wild, David Elliott and Holly Meade explore the depths of the ocean in a collection of poems sure to thrill budding oceanographers and landlubbers alike.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Elliott and Meade's newest collaboration is a playful exploration of life in the sea... The poems are tailor-made for reading aloud, with vocabulary sophisticated enough to challenge emerging readers while also engaging them inthe fun of wordplay... A magnificent merger of words and images. It will not only appeal to poetry fans, but to all those children who marvel over the mysteries of the deep.
—Booklist (starred review)

Meade’s trademark woodblock prints and watercolors are intricate, action-filled, and artfully designed, while Elliott’s brief poems are a linguistic treat... An eye-catching introduction to the beauty of the creatures that live "in the briny deep."
—Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly
In this aquatic companion to In the Wild and On the Farm, Meade’s trademark woodblock prints and watercolors are intricate, action-filled, and artfully designed, while Elliott’s brief poems are a linguistic treat, filled with dramatic metaphors that also convey information about the species described. The octopus is an “eight-armed apparition” that can vanish “in a cloud of ink./ No ghost, but a magician,” and a shark sports a “brutal grin” that reveals “the terror/ of the dark within.” While Meade’s color schemes are not always realistic, they are artistically appealing and, like the jacket artwork, sometimes stunning. An eye-catching introduction to the beauty of the creatures that live “in the briny deep.” Ages 3–5. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Elliott and Meade take us into the sea, as they did to the farm and the wild, to meet its inhabitants. Brief, cleverly evocative rhymes succinctly portray each character, sometimes with humor. The sea horse, the shark, the octopus, and the starfish swim across double pages, while urchin, sardine, mackerel, and shrimp share a spread. The herring: "Nobody's fool. / How could she be? / She lives in a school!" and the dolphin each get a page, while the orca and the sea turtle each requires two. Coral, anemones, and the clown fish exist together, while the moray eel, the chambered nautilus, the giant squid, and the puffer fish each requires a double page. A final poem is a tribute to the blue whale. The woodblock prints have an organic, almost casual appearance, particularly when they produce animated swirls that suggest the movements of the sea. Equally animated are the naturalistic sea creatures in their habitats. Transparent watercolors enhance the scenes that are convincing environments for all, from the schools of tiny sardines to the immense blue whale. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1–4—In this collection, readers are treated to short, descriptive, yet elegant poems about the different life forms that are found in the sea. Starting with the sea horse and ending with the blue whale, each poem is but a glimpse of the creature it describes. A menacing tone is found in "The Shark": "The fin,/the skin,/the brutal grin…/The terror/of the dark within," and a playful tone emerges in "The Clown Fish": "Is not an enemy/of anemone;/in fact, it is anemone's maid,/for which anemone/stings its enemies./And that's how friends are made." Accompanying the verse on each spread are bold woodblock and watercolor illustrations that successfully capture the atmosphere and movement of the ocean. From the maw of the moray eel to the detail in the coral, the art perfectly matches the tone of the poetry. This work could easily be shared in its entirety as a read-aloud, and can be paired with the author's In the Wild (2010) and On the Farm (2008, both Candlewick) as well as Joyce Sidman's Swirl by Swirl (Houghton Harcourt, 2011).—Stacy Dillon, LREI, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
This third pairing of Elliott's reductive poems and Meade's bold woodcut-and-watercolor illustrations dives deep to explore sea creatures, from tiny shrimp to the mighty blue whale. Elliott's poems are short and pithy, often combining elegant metaphor and child-friendly diction. "Five fingers, / like a hand, / the starfish shines / in a sky of sand." He doesn't shy from big words that expand children's imaginations and vocabularies: An octopus is "an eight-armed apparition." Humorous touches pleasantly conjure Douglas Florian's poetry. The puffer fish is "A trickster. / A clown. / A magician. / A buffoon. / One minute / she's a fish; / the next, / she's a balloon." Meade's pictures combine appropriately watery washes with black-inked woodcuts. She conjures the "before" and "after" capabilities of said puffer fish, and her Moray eel undulates fearsomely. Not every spread is completely successful. "The Clown Fish" riffs on inter-species symbiosis, but Elliott stumbles with the possessive phrase "its enemies"--inviting confusion as to whether anemone stings its own enemies, or the clown fish's. Meade's shark, possibly a great white, prominently sports stylized throat grooves that more resemble several species of whale. This mix of clever poems, handsome art and well-chosen typography, despite a few minor flaws, will function equally well for bedtime sharing and early-learning settings. (Picture book/poetry. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763670504
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 3/25/2014
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 228,146
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

David Elliott is the author of many books for young readers, including On the Farm and In the Wild, the companion books to In the Sea. He is also the author of the New York Times best-selling picture book And Here's To You!, illustrated by Randy Cecil. David Elliott lives in New Hampshire.

Holly Meade (1956-2013) wrote and illustrated IF I NEVER FOREVER ENDEAVOR. She earned a Caldecott Honor for her illustrations in HUSH! A THAI LULLABY by Minfong Ho. She also illustrated AND THEN COMES HALLOWEEN by Tom Brenner; ON THE FARM, IN THE WILD, and IN THE SEA by David Elliott; and many others.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 15, 2014

    This beautiful book depicts sea animals in short, clever, funny

    This beautiful book depicts sea animals in short, clever, funny verses and dramatic, beautiful double-page spread paintings. I am giving this to two young friends, ages 3 and 4, and their parents who will enjoy the paintings and the poetry. Although this book is meant for the very young, the author is not afraid to use grown-up words such as "apparition" , "carapace" and others. No simplifying here. Let the children learn and adults enjoy!  

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