My Ocean is Blue
Author: Darren Lebeuf
Illustrator: Ashley Barron
Kids Can Press
Ages: 3 to 7 years old, Grades P to 2
We imagine, through the easy, flowing rhythm of the text, the ease and fluidity with which our little girl, free of her braces, can move in the ocean.
An exuberant little girl takes readers on an ocean adventure using her senses to describe her ocean. Through her journey, we not only see what the ocean is, we also feel the sensory experience she feels. Our little girl, dependent on braces while on land, weaves a subtle but transformative narrative as she describes not only what her ocean is, but also what it represents.
Lebeuf, uses the color blue as a starting point for the ocean, as most children do when asked to describe it. We soon receive a much more detailed interpretation, filled with depth: sights, sounds, feels, and smells. As we experience the ocean with our exuberant girl, her journey gives us a vivid picture of just what the ocean means to her. We imagine, through the easy, flowing rhythm of the text, the ease and fluidity with which our little girl, free of her braces, can move in the ocean. Barron, in support of the text, creates beautiful illustrations using vibrant colors bringing the powerful descriptions to life. We are left with a subtle, yet powerful lesson in diversity that is manifested by including the girl’s braces in the illustrations.
As an education tool, this book is invaluable for introducing a variety of skills and subjects. The first, and most evident skill presented is vocabulary. The book is written using a rich selection of words to portray opposites with uncommon examples that grab and hold a young reader’s attention. Grammar is an additional language skill woven into the story through the use of adjectives, adding descriptive details to the ocean. Social awareness is taught indirectly, as we see the main character move between depending on and not needing her braces to move about. Through this, the reader learns about acceptance, empathy, and differences among people. A lesson in onomatopoeia shows how the use of sounds, and sound words, can not only enhance stories, but also the way readers imagine what they are reading about. Finally, the use of the main character’s senses to share her ocean with readers, gives teachers and parents a great introduction or possibly follow up opportunity for teaching about the senses.
Written for ages 3-7, this would be an excellent read aloud for young children as well as a perfect choice for more independent readers.
More books for this Age Group can be found here.
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My thanks to Edelweiss+ and the Publisher for providing an Advance Copy of this book. The views expressed herein are my own.
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