Graceful use of traditional poetic forms like haiku and tanka provides inspiration for young readers to create their own writing. Is a crab just an underwater toe-pincher? What advice do sea otters give to cure insomnia? Who is the seamstress of the sea? Avis Harley's poems invite readers to explore these and other mysteries of our great oceans. Full-color photographs capture the critters in question, and a Looking Deeper section offers exciting facts that keep kids reading. ...
Graceful use of traditional poetic forms like haiku and tanka provides inspiration for young readers to create their own writing. Is a crab just an underwater toe-pincher? What advice do sea otters give to cure insomnia? Who is the seamstress of the sea? Avis Harley's poems invite readers to explore these and other mysteries of our great oceans. Full-color photographs capture the critters in question, and a Looking Deeper section offers exciting facts that keep kids reading.
Many of us remember the magic of hearing or reading poetry for the first time. Combine poetry with the wonder of beautifully photographed sea creatures and you have something special. Both illustrations and poems are an eclectic collection. Photos include commonly known sea animals—fish, whales, clownfish, crabs, sea stars—as well as unfamiliar ones such as sea cucumbers, giant plumose anemone, pipefish or kelp. Poems range from free verse to rhyme that may resemble the art of the limerick, whimsical to funny to phrases that can only be savored for their loveliness. For instance, the poem, "Otter Chatter" states, "How could you ever doubt the word/of the otter/When he sits up and talks to you/in the water?" What wonderful whimsy! The poem about sea turtles, "A Swimming Stone," calls this reptile, "Leather Legs." "Bonescape," describing a whale skeleton at the sea bottom, says the bones "lie silent as the song of the lost whale." Oh, my. From format to font to the double-page spread at the back of the book with facts about the featured critters, this book has done everything right. The perfect book for everyone from very young nonreaders to adults.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-Each of these 27 offerings was inspired by a photograph of a sea creature, and Harley employs a variety of poetic forms-including rhyming couplets, haiku, a list poem, and an acrostic-to capture the mood of the images. The poems are short; most are four or five lines. On the whole, they are well crafted and accessible to young readers, but clever enough to hold the interest of older children. Butschler's photographs are interesting and expressive and have rich, clear colors. They generally feature one or two animals in close-up and are set against backdrops of biomorphic shapes that match their colors and lines. Quality poems and attractive graphic design make this title a solid addition to most collections.-Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Close-up color photographs of an assortment of sea creatures inspired this well-designed collection of 27 short poems in a range of styles appropriate to each subject. Butschler photographed various crabs, fish, sea stars, otters and more on the beach or in the Vancouver Aquarium, and then set the images on a full-page background design of line and color blending into the scene. Careful word choice, interesting imagery and attention to rhyme and rhythm, as well as the requirements of different poetic forms, distinguish this collection. From haiku to rhymed couplets, an acrostic and a Dickenson-like pair of quatrains beginning "There is a seamstress in the sea / who gathers kelp for thread / and weaves a fluid tapestry / across her satin bed," the poetry will surprise and delight young readers, perhaps prompting some writing of their own. Harley concludes with two pages of interesting facts about the sea creatures that also serve as an index. (Poetry. 7-12)
Avis Harley has been involved in education for many years, having taught in schools in Canada and England. She lives with her husband in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Margaret Butschler has developed outreach conservation programs at the Vancouver Aquarium during her twenty-eight years on staff. Her photography is featured in exhibits, textbooks, magazines, and brochures. She lives with her husband in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.