Friday, January 24, 2020

Great books for Ocean-Dreaming

Since all the water around my house is frozen, I’m dreaming about oceans. Fortunately I found a couple of books in my basket that will feed my fantasy.

Theme for today: water, oceans, ocean animals

This Is a Sea Cow 
by Cassandra Federman
32 pages; ages 5-7
Albert Whitman & Company, 2019

This is a Sea Cow. “Hello! I prefer Manatee, please.”

Written in the style of a school report, this book attempts to lay out the facts about sea cows manatees. But the subject of the report Is. Not. Pleased. with the report, and refutes what she perceives as unflattering comments. For example, the kid writes that sea cows eat grass like cows do. “I’m not a lawnmower,” Manatee retorts, clarifying that she dines on seagrass.

What I like about this book: I love the sassy manatee who makes sure she corrects the record with respect to how cool manatees really are.

I like the facts that are thrown in, comparing manatees to sharks, and I like that the text is written in pencil-like font on wide-ruled paper. Illustrations are crayoned in. AND – there is Back Matter! Three pages of manatee facts including how you can adopt a manatee. I love that the story begins – and ends – on the endpapers.

Hey, Water! 
by Antoinette Portis
48 pages; ages 4-8
Neal Porter Books, 2019

Hey, water! I know you! You’re all around.

From faucet to sprinkler, rain to snow, a girl named Zoe explores water. Water can be a lake or steam, dew on a leaf or tears. And it’s all around us. Illustrations are done with brush and sumi ink, and then digitally colored.

What I like about this book: The text is simple and supported with the wonderfully textured illustrations. And there’s Back Matter! On one page, Portis shows the forms water takes: solid, liquid, and gas. On another, she provides an easy-to-follow map of the water cycle. There’s a section about things we can do to conserve water, and resources to explore.

And one more, for the littles to dive into:

National Geographic Kids Little Kids First Board Book Ocean
26 pages; ages 4 - up
Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books (October 29, 2019)

Just a fun little book, filled with verbs for tots to learn: race, play, swirl, twist, and more. The last spread provides a “can you find?” challenge.

Beyond the Books:

You can learn more about manatees here, and find webcams to watch your favorite manatees here.

Become a Water Saver. Check out this list of things you can do, and choose one to do this week.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copies provided by the publisher.


  1. What an interesting approach to non-fiction. Will search for it!

  2. Great combination of books. The first one is such a fun way to tackle NF!

  3. You have a lot of ocean books to share today! Kids will have fun withThis is a Sea Cow. Gave the National Geographic book on the ocean to my grandson, who live in Florida. He loves it!

  4. Love the concept and humor of the first book! Will be taking a much closer look at that one. Thanks for the recs!