Tuesday, April 7, 2009

National Week of the Ocean

It's National Week of the Ocean! So, those lucky ones of you out there who might happen to be enjoying spring break ocean-side or just dreaming of it (like me), here are 3 ocean reviews, and one ocean/beach review that is a new release this month!

Ryan, Pam Munoz.
Hello Ocean.
Charlesbridge Publishing.

Written in poetic form, this book shares with readers the real life experiences of Ryan and her children. The rhyming text coupled with an educational aspect makes this book perfect literature to incorporate into a thematic unit on the five senses. Pam Munoz Ryan shows readers how each of the five senses are experienced when visiting the ocean:
I see the ocean, gray, green, blue, a chameleon always changing hue. Amber seaweed, speckled sand, bubbly waves that kiss the land,
I hear the ocean a lion's roar, crashing rumors toward the shore, water shushing and rushing in, then whispering back to the sea again.
squishy, sandy, soggy ground, slippery seaweed that wraps around, sudden breezes that make me squeal - I love the way the ocean feels.
I smell the ocean, the fresh salt wind, wafting lotions from suntanned skin.
I taste the ocean and wonder why it tastes like tears I sometimes cry. Sandy grains in a salty drink.
I can already visualize how I would use this book in such a unit... The book would be used as an introduction to a culminating project on the unit. After reading and discussing the story, I would have students draw from a hat one of five different places: Hello Candy Shoppe, Hello Farm, Hello Ballpark, Hello Circus, Hello Amusement Park. I would then have the students explain the way each each of the 5 senses are used at their given destination.

Frasier, Debra.
Out of the Ocean.
Harcourt Children's Books
Guided Reading Level: J

This book would be a perfect read before heading to the ocean for a vacation! It provides readers with a purpose while taking strolls along the beach. Not only does Frasier take readers on an adventure alongside a mother and daughter as they walk along the beach, she also shows that with a little imagination you can find a way to appreciate the gifts that are truly right in front of you. The last few pages of the book provide a wealth of information about all the treasures that can be found while walking along the beach.

Andreae, Giles.
The Pop-Up Commotion in the Ocean.
Tiger Tales.
Guided Reading Level: M

This book focuses less on the beach aspect of the ocean and more on the sea life. Youngsters are sure to love it, as it is a pop-up book. Lucky for you, it's also a book of poems, perfect for celebrating both National Week of the Ocean and National Poetry Month! The verses are funny and somewhat educational at the same time!

Keller, Holly.
Miranda's Beach Day.
Greenwillow Books.

This wonderful new release shows how the relationship between the crab and the ocean is similar to that of a mother and daughter, as the daughter will always belong to her mother and the crab will always belong to the ocean, although they may go their separate ways at times.

It's an interesting way that the connection is made, as Miranda and her mother head out for a day at the beach. While there, Miranda meets another little boy and the two quickly set to work building a sandcastle (a new home) for small crab that Miranda and her mother found on the beach. As the day comes to a close, the ocean tide is moving in, and takes with it crab. At the same time, Miranda's mom collects her daughter to head home for the day. It's a cute story and while children may have a difficult time understanding the connection between themselves and the crab, for sure you mother's out there will appreciate the story!

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to Amazon.com.


style='clear: both;' Deanna H. said...

I am so missing the ocean.
I guess I'll just have to read a book about it:)