Cover image for My ocean is blue
My ocean is blue
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 24 cm.
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A girl with a disability explores every facet of the ocean during a day at the beach. A girl spends an entire day exploring the seaside with her mom. A keen observer, she sees the ocean as both "big" and "small" and both "sparkly" and "dull. It's also "dotted and spiraled and wavy and straight." Her ocean is full of sounds -- it "splashes and crashes" and "laughs and hums." But, at times, it's silent. She is inspired to examine and celebrate every part of her ocean and doesn't let anything hold her back. A delightful nature companion sure to awaken the explorer in every child. --


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'This is my ocean,' the young girl begins as she heads over the dunes with her mother. Then, as they pass the whole day at the seaside, she lyrically describes her ocean in simple, sensory detail. Nothing the girl experiences escapes her careful observation and appreciation. And at day's end, she can't wait for her next trip to the beach. Author Darren Lebeuf, an award-winning photographer, uses spare text and a rhythmic style to create an evocative read-aloud. The bright, richly coloured cut-paper collage illustrations by Ashley Barron add a captivating visual texture and depth to the story.

Author Notes

Darren Lebeuf is an award-winning photographer with a background in design and visual communication. He is the author of My Forest Is Green and My Ocean is Blue. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Ashley Barron is an award-winning illustrator who specializes in cut-paper collage. Her creations can be found in children's books, newspapers, set designs and shop windows. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2--From moment to moment, the ocean is constantly changing and shifting; it is at once recognizable and never the same. One sunny morning, a little girl and her mother make their way down the boardwalk to spend the day at the beach. As the day progresses, the mother and daughter explore the many sensations at the seashore: from textured sand and slimy seaweed to the unique smells and sounds. After a long day of discovery, it is time to go home, leaving them to wonder what the ocean will be like tomorrow. This primarily visual story is told with the help of only a few sentences, presented in a lyrical style. Each image resonates with many sensory experiences. The illustrations are a combination of collage style and visible brush strokes, representing the textures of the ocean. The little girl is shown walking with crutches in several of the images. VERDICT Ocean lovers of all ages will appreciate the vivid colors and beautiful text that recounts a lovely and relaxing day by the sea.--Mary Lanni, formerly at Denver Public Library

Kirkus Review

A companion to Lebeuf and Barron's previous outing, My Forest is Green (2019). A young tot with short blond hair, pale skin, and a wondrous fascination with the ocean looks forward to spending the day at the beach. Incidental to the text but prominent in the illustrations, the child also uses forearm crutches. Cut paper that's been textured with watercolor, acrylic, and pencil crayon creates the scenes of pebbled sand, frothy waves, and quiet tide pools. The child sees the ocean as a multitude of opposites. Sometimes it is "big" (with a vast, endless horizon), and sometimes it is "small" (a tiny hermit crab pokes out its head). Sometimes it is "dry" (a large piece of driftwood), and sometimes it is "wet" (a splashing water fight). Lebeuf gradually builds to more lyrical phrases. Sea gulls, whales, and dolphins playfully cavort while a motorboat slides by: "My ocean splashes and crashes / and echoes and squawks. // My ocean laughs and hums." The real delight, besides the intentional focus on detailed observations, is the ease with which the child's disability is slipped into the illustrations. At times, the crutches are laid aside, showing the tot swimming, kneeling, or playing in the sand. Any possible preconceived limitations are dashedinstead, childlike wonder and curiosity shine.A joyful marine romp. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

This is my ocean, says a girl, as she and her mother walk down to the beach. Throughout the day, she shares her observations in brief sentences that include one or two descriptors, often setting up contrasts that are clarified in the artwork. Illustrating My ocean is shallow, a picture shows seabirds walking through waves retreating along the strand, while in My ocean is deep, the child leaps from a dock into the water. Her ocean is also dry (driftwood) and wet (splashes). Its colors include ""vibrant pink"" (starfish), ""rusted orange"" (anchor), and ""polished green"" (sea glass), but mostly it's blue. From her sense of connection to her eagerness to share what she loves, the girl's narrative creates an inviting portrayal of the seashore. In the pictures, she uses crutches when walking, but she manages without one or both when she's skipping stones or playing in the sand. The illustrations, created using cut-paper collage, watercolors, acrylics, pencil crayons, and digital assembly, capture the beach experience with clarity. An enjoyable companion book to My Forest Is Green (2019).--Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2019 Booklist