Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sea Tails Vol. 1

Since "green" is the new "black" and supporting local markets is all the rage, checking out local street festivals and events is becoming a fun and enlightening past time of mine. I came across Tim & Sean at Gumbo Limbo's Sea Turtle Day celebration a couple of years ago, and they had an entire truck (former ice cream truck maybe?) painted with the characters. It was so unique, I had to take a picture of it.
Today's focus is Porthole, the Little Loggerhead (2006) written by Sheriee Dardis, illustrated by Sean Kelly, designed by Tim Dardis, and the Sea Tails series itself was created by all three. This children's book takes a different approach with a much longer format, the book is 70 pages. It's laid out specifically for adults to read to a child in multiple sittings- which is a great way to bridge from the standard short books to more in depth books that are separated into chapters. This is also why I love the bookmark ribbon attached to the spine! Instead of chapter breaks, there is "Sloop the sleepy clam" located at the bottom corner of each page that would be a good stopping point in the story; so, you have the option of continuing without pause if desired. The pictures are fun and brightly colored too.
Now, realize the intent of this series is to introduce many characters over many books; I think they have 35 characters in all. Each of these creatures is meant to teach lessons, and in order to be relatable for children, are very human-like in attitude and language. While that does avoid a dry story, it may irritate those of us who want accuracy in all things marine... even a kid's book. But if you can enjoy the concept of young animals playing and "going to SeaSchool" together, it will make this book much more fun for you as a grownup too. Forgive those child focused traits, and it is a creative point of view that should get you and the little one(s) talking about marine life, which is really all we want anyway, right?

Check out the website: www.seatails.net to see illustrations, etc.

RATING: ~~~~ (4 out of 5 waves) highly recommended

If you had a choice, what would your kids be interested in? Dinosaurs? Snowboarding? Painting or sculpting? I want to give compliments to those parents out there who managed to support your kid in pursuing their passions... and I really give applause to those whose children actually made it into a lifelong career! I wanted to be a marine biologist since I was 10, but my mom says I wanted it even earlier than that. Just a few days ago, she read to me things I wrote about wishing I could read the minds of animals so I could talk to sharks and answer the ocean's mysteries. Whoa. Thanks, Mom.


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