Thousand Yards of Sea

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-- Seven poems and six stories that present fanciful aspects of life on or beneath the waves are gathered together here. Edward Lear, Eleanor Farjeon, Jack Prelutsky, and Margaret Mahy are among those included, as well as Adele Geras and William Makepeace Thackeray. These are not stories of perilous storms and oceans deep; rather, they introduce ``Jumblies'' and ``Wibbles,'' green undersea kittens, and a crab prince from folklore--all creatures that invite readers to consider the sea as benign and fascinating. As she did in several other collaborations with the author such as Stuff and Nonsense (1989) and Boo! (1990, both Greenwillow), Clark has created whimsical watercolor paintings that expand the fantastic qualities of the selections. Some of the pictures provide a background or frame for the text; others are smaller cameos of individual scenes or characters. While Mark Daniel's A Child Treasury of Seaside Verse (Dial, 1991) provides a greater variety of images of the sea, the friendly, lighthearted qualities of the aquatic world represented in this collection will appeal to young readers. --Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie
Hazel Rochman
The absurd and the lyrical combine in this joyful collection of poems and stories to read aloud about the sea. Clark's brightly colored line-and-wash illustrations extend the nonsense, showing the whale in the living room as well as the intrepid kid outfacing the garish monsters of the deep. From Lear's "Jumblies," who went to sea in a sieve, to Prelutsky's "Underwater Wibblies," the sounds of the sea are in the words. Margaret Mahy's wild, beautiful story "The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate" sings with a love of the ocean ("the weave and the wave of it, the fume and the foam of it"), an ocean full of music and strange songs and stories. The sense of mystery and change is also caught in the haunting poem by James Reeves about the girl watching her sister turn into a mermaid ("Her eyes are shiny and she sings, mother, / Like nobody ever sang before"). All the voices here, wild, silly, and laid-back, play with the age-old adventure of the hero who runs away to "see" and finds a world transformed.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688114374
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/1/1993
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 80
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.97 (h) x 0.49 (d)

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