Things in The Sea Are Touching Me by Linda Jane Keegan
We all know that breath-catching fear of something brushing past us as we wade out to the waves, or step on something slimy in the sea.
This light-hearted rhyming story follows the experience of a little girl’s day at the beach with her two mums, as she unexpectedly encounters a range of sea life.
Author Linda Jane Keegan is an authority on environmental education for our younger generation, and her love of the outdoors is evident.
The story is a great introduction to things in the sea that younger children might be frightened of – what other book for pres-schoolers and early primary mentions salps?
Keegan uses a simple rhyme that doesn’t distract from the story. The repetitive shrieks for help from the young girl meant my pre-schoolers were ‘reading’ the book themselves after just one sitting.
Illustrator Minky Stapleton’s bright, simple yet expressive artwork is perfectly matched with the story.
Each creature is shown in interesting perspective – both in macro and from afar on opposite pages. This helps, again, to break down the fear of the unknown for children.
The black page with bold white text when the child is screaming is a wonderful visual representation of fear. It makes for a great visual symbol for younger children when re-reading the story as well.
It’s a fantastic book to read aloud, especially if you’re the type of bedtime storyteller that uses a lot of expression. We had plenty of fun squawking, screeching, and yelping while reading it.
Things In The Sea Are Touching Me is not only about our beloved ocean though. It’s a much-needed that cover the theme of diversity. The simple process of seeing a child with two mums in a picture book was a great way to spark a conversation about families.
This picture book is also available in te reo Māori under the title Ngā Mea Kei Rō Moana E Whakapā Mai Ana.
Things In The Sea Are Touching Me is a brilliant way to discover a world of playful surprises in the sea. It has become a firm favourite in our household.
Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser
Scholastic, RRP $18.99