Coombs punctuates her sweeping, lullaby-like poems about the ocean with surprising personification and unexpected imagery. “My name’s Frank Hermit,” says a hermit crab, a seaside real estate agent. “I have listings for periwinkles,/ whelks, and wentletraps;/ turbans, tops, and moon shells;/ a palatial conch, perhaps?” She describes a jellyfish in short, lush lines: “Deep water shimmers./ A wind-shape passes,/ kimono trailing.” So’s watercolor spreads are supple and filled with life—fish cluster around the “wide green map/ on Sea Turtle’s back,” while a gulper eel is entwined with a dragonlike oarfish. Like the tide that repeats, “I was here,/ wasss here/ wasssss here...” the evocative descriptions and images echo and linger. Ages 4–8. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Apr.)
"This beautifully illustrated volume concentrates on what the poet does best: poetry. An excellent source of verse for reading aloud." - Booklist, Starred Review"
The evocative descriptions and images echo and linger.." - Publishers Weekly, starred review"
Poems with as many moods as the sea itself" - The Horn Book"
A feeling of sweet delicacy pervades the pages of Water Sings Blue " - Wall Street Journal"
One of the most beautiful picture books I've seen thus far in 2012" - Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast"
Humor, interesting language and intriguing imagery" - Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review"
Experience the shore without bring home sand in your shoes." - Library Media Connection, Starred Review"
A trip to the beach anytime readers want to go" - School Library Journal"
A salty breeze seems to spring from the pages" - The Wall Street Journal Best Books of 2012
What kinds of gifts emerge from the tide? In this lovely and creative poetry collection, children will enjoy listening to the songs and voices of the seafrom the cry of a seagull to a tidal pool shopping spree. These poems are accompanied by lovely illustrations; Meilo So captures the taste of salt, the texture of shells, and the heart of the ocean with each brushstroke. These poems will appeal to young nature lovers. On the first page, readers sail off with a boat that flies just like a gull. Later they learn the story of sand, which grinds and grumbles with the waves. A page later, readers will go tide pool shopping, picking up a basket of lobsters and octopi. Soon readers will listen to what the waves say, and they can feel the rolling "green, rise and leanwake and roar and strike the shore." These poems allow readers to step into the mind of a fish trying to escape a shark, or to delight in the sales pitch of a hermit crab. In this delightful collection, young readers will discover the beauty of the sea; the illustrations make every poem come alive in living, breathing detail. Reviewer: Suzanna E. Henshon, Ph.D.
Children's Literature - Suzanna E. Henshon
PreS-Gr 4—A jaunty "Song of the Boat" opens this evocative collection designed to capture the life and spirit of the sea. The 23 pieces showcase a range of poetic forms while looking at each subject from a unique and interesting perspective. Readers do a little shopping in a tide pool, check out the local real estate with Frank Hermit, and experience the drama of a sea urchin's love story. ("The sea urchin fell in love with a fork./With a tremble of purple spines,/she told her mother, 'He's tall, not a ball,/but just look at his wonderful tines!'") Bookended by sandy endpapers showing footprints among feathers and shells, the loose watercolors are beautifully rendered and take readers deeper inside the heart of the verses. From spot art to panels to full spreads, each page turn surprises but also further unifies the collection with color, shape, and movement. Some selections are fast paced and full of humor while others are more contemplative. Closing with an ode to the tide line, this accessible collection is a trip to the beach anytime readers want to go.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
Twenty-three poems and evocative watercolor paintings pay tribute to the wonders of the ocean world. The versatile Coombs shows she's as adept at poetry as she is at concocting or adapting fairy tales (
Hans My Hedgehog, 2012, etc.). She invites young readers into her celebration with an opening "Song of the Boat" and ends with the message of the "Tideline." "‘Don't forget me-- / I was here, / wasss h e r e / wasssss h e r e …'" Varied rhyme and rhythmic patterns and surprising connections characterize these relatively short poems, which read aloud well and stick in the memory. There's humor, interesting language and intriguing imagery, as when the Gulper Eel's "astronomical maw" is compared to a black hole. Thoughtful organization and placement of text on the page and So's wavery, watery illustrations extend the poems' meaning. A series of couplets describing "What the Waves Say" is illustrated with panels of varying water-surface patterns. Three different jellyfish poems share a double-page spread; another spread emphasizes the size of a blue whale with its vertical orientation and a shipwreck lying at the bottom. Sand-colored endpapers show objects washed up on shore: a shell, a feather, a crab's claw and what might just be the remains of a footprint. Share this admirable appreciation with a wide audience. (Picture book/poetry. 4-10)