I just returned from a long weekend in Chicago, the site of the 2011 National Council of Teachers of English conference. I came back with 20 pounds of new books!!! I have many friends in the literacy world who work all over the country, and this conference offers us a chance to catch up, reconnect, and share new books we just love. The idea for this one came from a new friend who teaches kindergarten in Ohio, Mandy Robek. She is a new rock star to me, and I believe you will see why when you read this fantastic book.
I love how the author tells this story through pictures and labels. A trip to the ocean becomes a lively home of experiences and animals here. Each page is filled-- and I mean filled-- with drawings of the beings one would encounter in the ocean. The author added labels to this picture book (unlike in his first book Wow! City!), and those elevate the book into new arenas. The illustrations are remarkable and remind me of the pictures so many of my kindergarten students used to create, and the label of the animals is right there on the animal: brilliant.
I could so see using this as a mentor text-- which I may, so look out, grad students. I also can see this read aloud leading young learners forward into the links between reading and writing: the text inspires me to want to go create. Find this one: you won't be disappointed. Thanks to Mandy for introducing it to me!