Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 82: Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef

Over in the Ocean is fabulous in so many ways!  This is definitely one of our favorite books to read and sing -- perfect for a summery beach day!  There are so many things we love about this book that I hardly know where to begin.  First, the artwork by Jeanette Canyon is FANTASTIC!  All of the beautiful illustrations are crafted out of colorful polymer clay, which makes for a spectacular and unique style that is unlike any other I've seen.  Her work is truly amazing.  Second, it's a wonderful sing-along put to the classic tune of "Over in the Meadow," and I just love any book that gets us singing and moving! (Don't worry if you don't know the tune -- the words and music are featured at the back of the book.)  We read this story so many times when we first brought it home from the library that I very quickly had the whole thing memorized.  My son was only about 18 months old at the time, and even now, two years later, he still asks to read it all the time.  I find that we sing the song quite often, as well, when driving in the car, playing in the bath, or even as a lullaby.  It's also a counting book that tells about some of the many wondrous species that make our ocean's coral reefs their home.  Count your way from one to ten, meeting angel fish, clown fish, stingrays, puffer fish, seahorses and others along the way.  "Over in the ocean far away from the sun, lived a mother octopus and her octopus one.  "Squirt," said the mother.  "I squirt," said the one.  So they squirted in the reef far away from the sun."  I also love that the animals' actions in the book are true to their actions in real life.  An octopus really does squirt ink, parrot fish grind on coral, and clown fish dart among anemones.  It's educational, engaging, fun, colorful, and fantastically creative!  Maryann Berkes also includes great supplemental information at the back of the story, including more detail about the featured species, how the illustrations were made, and suggestions for ways children can move about to the song.  There are others in Berkes' series, as well, such as another family favorite, Over in the Jungle (featured back on Day 5.)  We absolutely love this book, and find that it makes a wonderful birthday gift for young children.  If you're headed to the beach at all this summer, be sure to check this one out.  You just might find yourself singing the song the whole way there!


Unknown said...

What a fantastic book and this book specially designed for kids. I strongly suggested this book.

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