Friday, January 5, 2018

The Seven Seas by Ellen Jackson illustrated by Bill Slavin and Esperanca Melo

When you dip into my blog here at Momotimetoread do you sometimes wonder at the variety of books I seem to talk about?  Here again we have a book that is not new.  The Seven Seas was published in 2011 but I think it might be a good one to hunt out for a school library.

At the end of last year I was able to spend a few glorious hours in a very well stocked junior library which caters for children from Preschool to Grade 2.  The kind Teacher-Librarian was happy for me to fill a basket with picture books and novels. If I get the chance to do this again I will be a little more systematic but on this first visit I just fluttered around from shelf to shelf like a butterfly gathering nectar.

Told in rhyme the narrator (a rabbit) daydreams during a geography lesson and imagines exploring the seven seas.  His thoughts come in the form of a rhyme.

The Yellow Sea's a mystery, 
a sight that's worth the trip.
They say it's made of lemonade
and quite all right to sip.

This imaginative fellow visits the yellow sea, red sea, brown sea, black sea, purple sea and even pink sea.  I did start to question were all of these real.  "Yes, I have seen the seven seas, I've checked them off my list. Can you surmise which ones are lies and which of them exist?"

No need to grab an atlas - at the back of the book there is a world map and several fact pages including an explanation of the term sea and a set of questions and answers.  The flamingos flying east and west on the end papers are also fun.

I would link The Seven Seas with Jeremy's Tale by Duncan Ball and A Pet for Mrs Arbuckle. Sadly both of these books are out of print but if you can find them they will give you so much inspiration for plotting on maps of the world and exploring different forms of transport.  These books would be perfect use with the youngest students as they begin their exploration of world geography. Here is a review with more details.  I was interested to read about this author - Ellen Jackson  - she has written so many and such varied books but I had not seen her work until I read The Seven Seas.

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