DOES A SEA COW SAY MOO? by Terry Webb Harshman

DOES A SEA COW SAY MOO?

Age Range: 4 - 7

KIRKUS REVIEW

A small boy explains to a visitor from outer space the meaning of words used differently on land and sea. McClements’s mixed-media illustrations on double-page spreads cleverly support the different uses of the words school, cow, clown, horse, bed and star, using collage for the imaginary scenarios (cow with mask and goggles, fish riding a horse) and watercolors for the actuality (manatees grazing on sea plants, seahorses clinging to seaweed). The information is repeated in an alphabetized list of “Silly Sea Facts” at the end. Repetition of words and a rhyming text support emerging readers but the rhymes and rhythm are strained: “A small dorsal fin / Steers this miniature steed; / For safety he hitches / Himself to seaweed.” Moreover, many undefined words will be unfamiliar to the audience (predators, dorsal, mollusk). The humor of the wordplay and imagery is not enough to balance the slender premise awkwardly and insufficiently developed. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-58234-740-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2008




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