Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 3 to 7
- Grade: p to 2
- Reading age: 3 to 7
A young girl's poetic exploration of the enchanting ocean she loves.
“This is my ocean,” the young girl begins as she heads over the dunes with her mother. Then, as they pass the whole day at the seaside, she lyrically describes her ocean in simple, sensory detail. It's both “slimy” and “sandy,” “sparkly” and “dull.” It has wonderful sounds, as it “splashes and crashes and echoes and squawks.” And it contains so many colors, from “rusted orange” to “runaway red,” “faded white” to “polished green.” Though “mostly it's blue.” Nothing the girl experiences escapes her careful observation and appreciation. And at day's end, she can't wait for her next trip to the beach.
Author Darren Lebeuf, an award-winning photographer, uses spare text and a rhythmic style to create an evocative read-aloud. The vivid adjectives, both concrete and abstract, will inspire children to try to capture in words what they notice not only at the ocean, but in any natural setting. The bright, richly colored cut-paper collage illustrations by Ashley Barron add a captivating visual texture and depth to the story. The portrayal of a girl with a physical disability enjoying and actively participating in a day at the beach encourages all children to do the same in their own lives, while also offering a character education lesson in adaptability. This book has strong curriculum ties to primary nature units and life science lessons on oceans and the seaside, and it offers a perfect focus for nature-based education and outdoor classrooms.
About the authors
Darren Lebeuf is an award-winning photographer based in Vancouver, British Columbia, with a background in design and visual communication. Darren has done numerous illustration projects for schools and charity organizations and also teaches illustration courses. He is also the author of My Forest Is Green and My Ocean Is Blue.
ASHLEY BARRON’s vibrant cut-paper collage illustrations appear in more than twelve picture books, including Chaiwala! by Priti Maheshwari, My City Speaks by Darren Lebeuf (winner of the Schneider Family Book Award), City Baby by Laurie Elmquist (a Bank Street Best Book of the Year) and Pretty Tricky by Etta Kaner (a Kirkus Best Picture Book and an Outstanding Science Trade Book). Ashley lives with her partner and three cats in Toronto, Ontario.
- Winner, First and Best List, Toronto Public Library
- Winner, Concept (Colors) Category, Northern Lights Book Awards
A joyful marine romp.
My Ocean is Blue ... strikes just the right note as Lebeuf and Barron share a day at the seaside through a poetic text that is beautifully mirrored by exquisite watercolour, pencil crayon and collage illustrations.
The Globe and Mail
Not a story but an experience, with a spare text and much to look at in the illustrations ...
... enjoyable ...
Kids and adults alike will gain a new appreciation for the ocean after reading My Ocean is Blue ...
Ocean lovers of all ages will appreciate the vivid colors and beautiful text that recounts a lovely and relaxing day by the sea.
School Library Journal, starred review