Thursday, 4 November 2010

Under the Sea by Anna Milbourne and Cathy Shimmen

2007, Usborne Children's Books
24 pages, Hardback
Review copy

Non-fiction, Children's, Picture book

Beautiful scenes about life under the waves

Summary from Usborne Children's Books
A simple and evocative story that reveals the wonderful natural world beneath the sea.

Children will love following the story through colourful coral reefs and past a big blue whale before plunging into the deepest, darkest depths to see the strange creatures which live at the very bottom of the ocean.

The engaging text is accompanied by the colourful illustrations of Cathy Shimmen.

Beautifully presented with a padded cover, this is an ideal gift for young children.

Nayuleska's thoughts
The vibrant illustrations capture the essence of what life is like under the sea (although I think the reality is much brighter than these colours portray). The book explores all areas of the ocean - from the coral reefs, to the depths were no light reaches. What I liked most was the colouring - it is bright and colourful, and looks textured too (the pages are smooth, but it isn't all flat colours). It really looks as though the sunlight is piercing through the water. One of my favourite scenes was where the manatees (sea cows) eat grass - it looks so peaceful and I want to go swim with them, and the cute little seahorses which are bobbing around. Or I want to fly on the backs of the rays (obviously avoiding their tails if they'll sting me). There are no human characters in this book, and I think this was a good decision. I could sit here staring at the pictures, imagining the sea life move around. It looks so warm and inviting.

Final conclusion
A good first look at life under the waves (anyone who has seen Disney's Finding Nemo may have children crying 'Nemo' or 'Duuudddeee' when spotting the clown fish and turtles. Or maybe that's just me...)

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