I SAW THE SEA AND THE SEA SAW ME by Megan Montague Cash


Age Range: 2 - 6
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A jaunt to the seashore has an unexpected ending for a young explorer who investigates the sea using her five senses. In turn, the sea seems to examine the little girl. “I touched the cold and foamy wet. We splashed and danced each time we met.” Cash’s simple rhymes offer readers playful, easily grasped examples of the five senses: the tangy smell of the air, the roar of the waves, etc. A close encounter with an inquisitive jellyfish puts an end to the girl’s fun. At that point the young protagonist erupts into a fury of toddler proportions. “Stupid water! Stupid land! Stupid salt! Stupid sand!” Her tirade continues for two pages, as she castigates the sea and its creatures. The realistically rendered tantrum is certain to cause a cascade of giggles from young readers, although whether adults will wish to share the vituperative outpouring of the word “stupid” with their children or charges is another story. The comic edge of the illustrations takes the sting, so to speak, out of the debatable word choice, humorously depicting the young girl stomping about with a ferocious scowl. A soothing soak in the tub returns the child’s equanimity and, with that, her fondness for the sea. Cash’s brightly colored pictures offer an engaging range of perspectives to intrigue readers. Brilliant swaths of blue flow across the white backdrop of the horizon, vibrantly contrasting with the intense yellow hues of the beach. Comical touches keep the laughs coming—as in the two-page spread which depicts the girl hollering full tilt in the back of her car while at the side of the road, an apologetic-looking jellyfish dolefully watches the passing vehicle. However, the sparkling artwork and initially effervescent tone is somewhat dimmed by the capricious twists of the tale. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-670-89966-6
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2001


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