14:14 PB ELEMENTS – Ocean Soup, Tide-Pool Poems – RHYME
Ocean Soup, Tide-Pool Poems
author, Stephen R. Swinburne
illustrator, Mary Peterson
(c) 2010, Charlesbridge
(1,697 words, AR Reading Level 3.8)
Before you balk at a book of poems with 1,697 words…realize that this is a non-fiction title and there are wonderful ‘sidebars’ of fascinating information.
So, on every page, there’s fun AND facts. What a combination!
I love books like this, and of course the element I’m highlighting is RHYME. Of course, there’s tons of word play as an element in poetry too. Consider the alliteration and consonance in the title: Ocean Soup – Tide-Pool Poems. But Stephen Swinburne has hauled right out of the water some marvelous rhyming verse in varied fun forms and clever perspectives as if he had been swimming there all along.
Did you know barnacles can rap?
“Don’t want no crab.
Don’t want no prawn.
All I wanna eat
is fresh plankton.
I do the filter feed, the filter feed.” (from Barnacle Rap)
With a sociable sea slug, urchins with self-esteem, a lurking sculpin not to be trusted, and a bully lobster, Swinburne relates tide-pool living with the an alluring humor and charm based on intriguing creature behaviors. So this book might also be a great example for the story element of character. The creatures interact, not to the rules of any defined plot, but to simply populate the life of ocean-side puddles.
It seems the author used rhyme to accomplish the sense that each creature, with its own poem, has its own place in the tide-pool habitat, albeit connected with every other creature in the pool in some way.
Mary Peterson’s full bleed illustrations capture the ebb and flow with movement that accompanies the rhythm and rhyme in Swinburne’s text, as well as that connectivity that his poems imply.
This is a delightful book, and perfect for a trip to the beach–virtual or real. If you go, just be sure to follow the advice of the seagull gazing down into the pool on page one:
“Tide-pool soup is really good,
a most delicious snack.
But careful! When you take a bite,
this soup might bite you back.”
(See a list of other reviewers’ posts in Christi’s latest post at Write Wild.)