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Children's Fiction General

Driftwood Dragons

and other Seaside Poems

by (author) Tyne Brown

illustrated by Tamara Thiébaux Heikalo

Nimbus Publishing
Initial publish date
Apr 2012
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2012
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 5 to 10
  • Grade: 4


There are catfish and flatfish and jellyfish, too,

There are all kinds of fish, but there's only one you.

And all of the wondrous fish in the sea,

Can't be as special as you are to me.

Driftwood Dragons is a collection of 34 lyrical seaside poems for children. Inspired by the Maritime coastline and accompanied by whimsical illustrations, these poems are celebrations of the coastal environment. From an ode to a beach flea to a short conversation with a snail, Driftwood Dragons perfectly captures the beauty, diversity, and joy to be found at Maritime beaches.

About the authors

A long-time resident of Nova Scotia, Tyne Brown’s work has appeared in numerous children’s magazines and literary journals. She is a recipient of the Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Children Award and a Nova Scotia Talent Trust Award. She lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Tyne Brown's profile page

Tamara Thiebaux Heikalo immigrated to Nova Scotia from the United States when she was twelve years old and has been drawing ever since she could hold a pencil. She has illustrated numerous children's books in including Mayann's Train Ride and Driftwood Dragons and Other Seaside Poems which were both shortlisted for the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration. Most of the time she uses watercolour, with either pencil or ink in her illustrations. Some of her work is featured on her website at Currently, she lives in rural Quebec with her husband, Daniel Heikalo.

Tamara Thiébaux Heikalo's profile page


  • Short-listed, Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Awards (English Non-fiction)
  • Short-listed, Atlanic Book Awards, Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration

Librarian Reviews

Driftwood Dragons and other seaside poems

From finding the perfect pebble to discovering a wondrous undersea fair to hauling in a fresh rainbow with a fishing net, so much can be seen and experienced at the seaside — and author Tyne Brown captures the magic to be found there in all its myriad ways. Her comparison of a silvery moon gliding across a midnight sky to a moon snail gliding on silvery sands creates in us a sense of awe. In another poem, we wonder whether a starfish ever wishes upon a star and whether a star ever wishes upon a starfish. Throughout the collection, the reader is challenged to ignore all the distractions that normally confound our lives and, instead, to see if we “could hear the sunrise / As it spreads above the sea.”

The poems in this collection vary in length and structure, most rhyming while others are haiku or shape poems, the verses lyrical and playful, or quiet and reflective. In “Osprey,” when Brown describes the bird as “floating over the ocean like a kite” even as it suddenly “plummets into the sea,” the poem is in the shape of a kite. In “Shape Shifters,” the many cloud-actions are fun to read aloud, the lines set up as layers of banked clouds about to be blown free. In “My Friend Is Gone,” the combination of simple but powerful words, with the quiet restlessness in Heikalo’s beautiful watercolour painting, is particularly poignant.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2012. Volume 35 No. 4.

Driftwood Dragons and Other Seaside Poems

This collection of 34 lyrical seaside poems for children is inspired by the Maritimes’ coastline and accompanied by whimsical illustrations. With poems that are celebrations of the coastal environment, such as an ode to a beach flea and a short conversation with a snail, this book captures the beauty, diversity and joy to be found at Maritime beaches.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Spring, 2012.

Other titles by Tamara Thiébaux Heikalo

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