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OCEAN SOUP by Stephen R. Swinburne


Tide-Pool Poems

by Stephen R. Swinburne & illustrated by Mary Peterson

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-58089-200-1
Publisher: Charlesbridge

Twelve poems, most in the first-person voices of tide-pool inhabitants, offer a glimpse into the watery world of the intertidal zone. But young readers or listeners not already familiar with that mysterious world may be left adrift. Nothing in the text or illustrations defines that quite distinctive environment. Barnacles, sea slugs, sea urchins, sculpins, mussels, starfish, hermit crabs, anemones, lobsters, octopuses and plankton—Swinburne mixes East and West Coast creatures, highlighting a few distinctive characteristics in his playful, sometimes ragged poetry and adding a short paragraph of factual detail for each. On each double-page spread, against a watery blue background, Peterson’s equally lighthearted cartoons show anthropomorphized, googly-eyed creatures; some suggest they can all be found together. The author includes a glossary of unfamiliar words used in his poems as well as a note and some suggested web and text resources. Teachers and librarians expecting science at the level of Swinburne’s previous work (Wings of Light, 2006, etc.) will be disappointed, but this might supplement more informative texts. (Poetry/informational picture book. 5-9)