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IN THE SWIM by Douglas Florian


by Douglas Florian & illustrated by Douglas Florian

Age Range: 8 - 11

Pub Date: March 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-15-201307-5
Publisher: Harcourt

 Florian makes funny the characteristics and habits of a collection of sea life in his follow-up to Beast Feast (1994) and On the Wing (1996). From a flying fish to a jellyfish, a ray to a manatee, each underwater creature is individually featured in a short quip-of-a-poem: ``Did you know the ocean's oysters/ Sometimes change from girls to boysters?'' and ``The itty-bitty, pretty tetra/Is small, minute, petite, et cetra.'' The witty poems, deliberately anthropomorphic, employ mistaken identities and mix-ups, as well as punning, wordplay, and internal rhyme, all to humorous effect. Many of the poems toy with an aspect of the subject, as in ``The Salmon,'' where the text swims upstream, reading from bottom to top, or ``The Sawfish,'' in which the lines are arranged in jagged-tooth formation. Paired with every poem is a striking watery painting saturated with color, splashes of humor aimed at grade-schoolers, and imagination. (Picture book/poetry. 8-11)