Water. It’s my thing. I have always lived near it and I always want to be in it. And oceans. There is something amazing about oceans, and ocean living. Enjoy these picture books that capture the mystery and beauty of the water.

My Ocean is Blue

My Ocean is Blue by Darren Lebeuf and illustrated in cut paper collage by Ashley Barron is my favourite of the bunch. LeBeauf must love the ocean as much as I do – the feeling, the sights and the sounds.

In My Ocean is Blue we meet a girl and her mom who are heading to the ocean. It’s through the eyes of the little girl we experience what her ocean is like. It’s big and small, shallow and deep, slimy and sandy, sparkly and dull. We get to experience all the senses at the ocean including sight, sound, touch – well, maybe not taste, but it is certainly present. The ocean, we learn from this little girl, is an amazing place full of unique experiences that changes every day.

I also love the cut paper illustrations. I find this art form amazing – so much skill, patience and time. Barron brings to life everything Lebeuf writes. A beautiful combination.

My Ocean is Blue is from Kids Can Press and retails for $19.99.

Front cover image of The Fish Who Found the Sea of a red/orange fish swimming up to a large wave
Fish learns he is not alone in this picture book.

The Fish who found the Sea

In The Fish who found the Sea by Alan Watts and illustrated by Khoa Le, we meet a little fish who lives in the Great Sea. He is unaware that he is in and is content to swim up and down and around. But then he stops to think about it and begins to worry he will one day forget how to swim. And because he’s worried about it, he can no longer do it and begins to fall.

The only way to save himself, he realizes is to grab his own tail and hold himself up. But he misses, and begins swimming in circles in an endless pursuit of trying to grab his own tail.  This continues for some time until the Great Sea itself, who is watching with amusement and sorrow, speaks to the fish, trying to make him understand he is not alone in the world and that the sea itself is  there to support him.

“The story is as timely as it’s entertaining – sharing a key message about getting into harmony with the flow of life.”

The illustrations are lovely. I particularly liked how annoyed the fish looked at being unable to catch its own tail. The message is also nice – an important reminder, perhaps, that one is never alone, but a bit too much for me.

The Fish who found the Sea is from Raincoast Books and Sounds True and retails for $23.50.

Front cover image of Rain Boy with a smiling cloud raining.
Rain Boy shows “the brightest colours shine from withing.”

Rain Boy

Rain Boy, written and illustrated by Toronto’s Dylan Glynn, tells the story of Rain Boy, who isn’t very popular among his peers as he brings dark skies and wetness wherever he goes, ruining recess and outdoor painting classes. Sun Kidd, however, is always welcome as she brings sunshine to barbecues and beaches. But Sun Kidd also sees what is special about Rain Boy, but when she invites him to a birthday party, “disaster strikes, and Rain Boy storms. Will the other kids ever appreciate Rain Boy for being himself? Can Rain Boy learn to love his rain?”

Rain Boy is a cute story about finding the positives in situations and the joy of both darkness and sunshine.

Rain Boy is from Raincoast Books and Chronicle Kids and retails for $24.99.

Front cover image of Run Salmon Run of a little salmon in the sea after going through lakes through forests.
Run Salmon Run follows the life cycle of salmon in both text and poem.

Run Salmon Run

Run Salmon Run is a cute story by Canadian singer-songwriters Bobs & LoLoand illustrated by Lori Joy Smith about the amazing journey salmon takes from egg to end of life.

At the beginning we meet and mother and father salmon, who lay their eggs, which one day hatch. Through each stage of a salmon’s life, we learn what they are called and where they are going (and dangers they must invade along the way. Each life cycle is explained simply and quickly in information, and ends with a bit of a poem to explain what was written. For example, as small fry, the little ones leave the gravel and start their travels where “swift currents whisper ‘Go on. Live your dream.’”

“Drift fry drift, in the stream sure and swift. The salmon story circles. Drift fry drift.”

Run Salmon Run was an interesting, informative and fun look at the life cycle of salmon. The illustrations are cute and helps bring the story to life.

Run Salmon Run is from Raincoast Books and the British Columbia Salmon Marketing Council and retails for $14.98.

These books were provided by Kids Can Press and Raincoast Books
for an honest review. The opinions are my own.