Into the A, B, Sea: An Ocean Alphabet Book

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
This colorful rhymed alphabet book will captivate young readers who live far from the shore,l as well as those who have the opportunity to view sea creatures on a daily basis. The charming flow of the book's rhymed couplets will soon entice the child listener to recite along with the adult reader as they both swim the ocean waves and dive into the A, B, Sea. The fascinating facts in this book will be eye-openers to children and adults alike. Did you know that gray whales peep? Did you know that humpbacks leap? Did you know that manatees lumber? Did you know that narwhals slumber? And what about those narwhals? Had you ever heard of them before? Or umbrellamouths? Or viperfish? Admit it! You're getting a fun-time education while you swim in the A, B, Sea.Just how did the author handle letters X and Z? I'm not telling. You'll have to read the book for yourself. But don't think you're finished when you reach letter Z. One swim is seldom enough. Jump in again. Stroke on. Learn more about the A, B, Sea in three bonus pages of short prose passages concerning the pictured sea creatures. Award-winning author, Deborah Lee Rose lives in the San Francisco area and has previously been a national science writing fellow and a science writer for the University of California at Berkeley. She is passionate about the sea and hopes to nurture children's love and concern for the ocean world. Her book, The People Who Hugged the Trees, (Roberts Rinehart, 1994) an environmental folk tale, was named a Jane Addams Children's Peace Book Award Recommended Title. Working in his Boulder, Colorado studio and using paper collage, award-winning illustrator, Steve Jenkins, excites his readers as he captures the manydifferent textures of marine animals and plants, as well as the distinct character of their underwater homes. His book, The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest, (Houghton Mifflin, 1999) received the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Nonfiction. The artistic depth of this rich book will surely evoke children's positive responses to the world of beauty and mystery around them. 2000, Scholastic, $15.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Dorothy Francis — The Five Owls, September/October 2000 (Vol. 15 No. 1)
Children's Literature
The letters of the alphabet offer a chance to introduce a wide variety of creatures from the sea, each named as involved in an activity, one per double-page. More detailed descriptions of each are given at the end of the book. But more important is the opportunity Jenkins takes to use a wide variety of cut and torn papers to create double-page scenes that combine fishy facts with esthetic elegance. Even the granite-skinned tiger shark looks a bit less frightening in a mottled, blue rice paper sea. Every creation is here to delight us and to be admired. 2000, Scholastic Press. Ages 3 to 7. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-An eye-catching look at the diverse, colorful, and unique creatures that inhabit the world's oceans. Brief, rhyming couplets ask readers to dive into the sea, "where Anemones sting/and Barnacles cling/where Crabs crawl in/and Dolphins spin." With so many fascinating aquatic animals to choose from, Rose has no trouble making the A-to-Z motif work. One species is introduced for each letter, with a single exception ("where blue Whales eXhale"). The text reads aloud smoothly, with natural-sounding rhymes and an even pace. The collage artwork is breathtaking. Using a variety of textures and a palette of deep blues and purples, Jenkins captures the grace and vitality of his subjects, as well as the different characteristics of their particular environments. In one dramatic double-page spread, a humpback whale leaps above a green sea with flippers extended to the sky. In another scene, a tenacious starfish clings to a rock while the ocean undulates around it. Each painting is a perfect medley of vibrant color and restless motion, a combination that evokes the mystery and majesty of the sea. Three pages of endnotes provide tidbits about each animal, making it clear, for example, that although manatees and narwhals are shown on the same page, they live in different waters. A tantalizing, visually stunning invitation to explore a new frontier.-Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Vivid collages combined with sprightly verse offer readers a glimpse into the fascinating world of the deep. Rose (The People Who Hugged the Trees, 1994) celebrates the bounty of the sea, providing an alphabetic exploration of the ocean's diverse inhabitants. Brief rhymes highlight each creature's unique attributes, from shimmering Queen angelfish to the ponderous pace of the Manatees. The succinct verses move at a lulling pace, evocative of the gentle rhythms of the sea. ". . . where Kelp forests sway / and Leopard sharks prey / where Manatees lumber / and Narwhals slumber . . ." From Anemones to Zooplankton, the verses focus on animals whose names begin each successive letter in the alphabet. For a basic introduction to the alphabet, the book's format is a bit weak, as the featured letters are highlighted solely within the verse via capitalization and the text lacks any formalized representation of the alphabet in its entirety. However, older children already familiar with their ABC's will enjoy the challenge of identifying the animals alphabetically while the artwork provides a luminous introduction to marine life. Jenkins's full-bleed and full-color illustrations gloriously capture the grace and beauty of the ocean's populace. Detailed, textured collages, made with layers of cut-paper, lend a nearly three-dimensional feel to the illustrations while Jenkins's use of colors, from bright indigos to soft teals, artfully reflect the ever-changing hues of the sea. A glossary at the back provides further information on the individual animal's habits and habitats. An informative, picturesque tour of the sea that readers can embark upon withoutevergetting their toes wet. (Picture book. 3-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439096966
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.35 (w) x 11.26 (h) x 0.37 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2008


    Beautifully illustrated and fantastically rhymed!

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