Friday, March 15, 2013

Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems

Water Sings Blue:  Ocean Poems

by Kate Coombs, illustrated by Meilo So
Chronicle Books, 2012.  Unpaged.  Poetry.

     Water Sings Blue is on a number of Best Children's Books of 2012 lists, and with good reason. Coombs' elegant poetry, by turns witty, funny, frightening, and elegaic is evocative and precise. One sees the ocean and its creatures in her prose as well as in Meilo So's shimmering wash of watercolor. The little fish prays to be kept safe in "the cool dark," and to be kept "from the hungry eyes/ of the swift and toothful shark."  The shark himself "circles and stares/ with a broken-glass grin . . . He slides through the water/ like a rumor, like a sneer./ He's a quick twist of hunger./ He's the color of fear." Coral colonies, seagulls, boats, the waves themselves, all speak in this sparkling collection of poetry for children and for the adults who will read these poems to them, over and over, if I don't miss my guess.

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