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HELLO OCEAN by Pam Muñoz Ryan


by Pam Muñoz Ryan & illustrated by Mark Astrella

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-88106-987-6
Publisher: Charlesbridge

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 <\b>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. (Picture book. 3-8)