Pam Muñoz Ryan, author
Pam Muñoz Ryan is an award-winning author and has written many picture books for young children and novels for young adults. Her books include The Flag We Love, Hello Ocean, and Our California. She often visits schools and conferences to speak about writing and literacy. Pam lives in Leucadia, California.
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Mark Astrella, illustrator
Mark Astrella is a self-taught artist who has drawn and painted most of his life. Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Mary always knew he would be an artist. He learned most of his technique by looking at art in his hometown art museum and by studying books, comic books, and science fiction magazines. Mark collaborated with Jerry Pallotta on The Butterfly Alphabet Book and The Desert Alphabet Book. He lives in Hawaii
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Booklist, starred review
This picture book, a splendid celebration of the ocean, is a stunning combination of scientific fact, poetry, and artistic talent. Photographic clarity, brilliant colors, and detail born of familiarity with the ocean characterize Astrella's acrylic paintings, which build on the rhythms and energy of Ryan's expressive rhymes. A young girl relates her experiences at the beach to her five senses. Through her perspective, the briny milieu will become real--even to children who have never paid a visit to the sea: "I see the ocean, gray, green blue, a chameleon always changing hue. . . . I hear the ocean, a lion's roar, crashing rumors toward the shore. . . . I touch the ocean and the surf gives chase, then wraps me in a wet embrace. . . . Sandy grains in a salty drink are best for fish and whales, I think." The girl's stay at the beach comes to an end on the book's final page. Other little ones are more fortunate. They can flip back to the beginning of the book and experience the beauty and mystery of the ocean all over again.
An eloquent tribute to the wonders of the sea, also functioning on a more pragmatic level as an introduction to the five senses. Ryan (Esperanza Rising, 2000, etc.) celebrates the many marvels of the ocean as experienced through a child's sense of taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing. Several stanzas of verse, spread out over multiple pages, are dedicated to each sense, each scene focusing on familiar seashore activities of young children: dodging among the waves, constructing sandcastles, savoring the warmth of the sun. The gentle rhymes are at once descriptive and instructive, offering an almost tangible awareness of the ocean as well as an understanding of each particular sense. Each appears in boldface as an added reminder for readers."I smell the ocean, / the fresh salt wind, wafting lotions / from suntanned skin." Astrella's (The Butterfly Alphabet Book, not reviewed, etc.) acrylic paintings are spectacular. Full-color, full-bleed illustrations form a vibrant setting for Ryan's verse, deftly capturing the vivid hues of the seas, with the dark indigos of deep waters and sheer turquoises of shallower depths. Beautifully written and illustrated, this striking picture book is the next best thing to being there.
School Library Journal
In rhyming couplets, a girl describes the sights, sounds, smell, feel, and taste of saltwater waves breaking on the shore. Evocative paintings, with realistic figures that seem to be superimposed on strong, bright-colored acrylics, reflect the beach setting. Unfortunately, there is no consistency in the depiction of the child narrator; facial features, hair, and even skin tone change dramatically from one spread to another.
Page count: 32
11 x 8 1/2