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Atlantic Paperback – March 30, 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"I am the Atlantic Ocean," announces the watery narrator of this artistically intriguing but sometimes confusing book. The first-person narrative enumerates facts ("The sun/ so many millions of miles away/ heats my water,/ which turns into clouds and storms") and an afterword ("Some Things About Me") registers a plea for the care of the oceans. The Atlantic's voice is child-centered ("I stretch from the icy poles/ North and South/ I rub shoulders with North America/ and bump into Africa"), and Karas populates the gouache, acrylic and pencil illustrations with wistful, cartoon-like children. However, both art and text often require some sophistication and prior knowledge for understanding. For example, young readers may not have the historical dexterity to comprehend why a 19th-century schooner appears next to a modern ship or why the accompanying text declares, "First I was discovered/ (even though I was here first)/ and then conquered." Skewed perspectives and textured layers of color keep the paintings varied and interesting, but the abstract viewpoint and relative size of objects seem unnecessarily puzzling. The author ameliorates the recitation of facts with the occasional interjection of folksy humor ("That salty smell is me too") but the levity creates an inconsistent tone overall. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-In this large, square volume, Karas's crafty combination of wit and naivete offers viewers intriguing and amusing marine perspectives. "I am the Atlantic Ocean I begin where the land runs out at the end of yards and streets and hills." The poetic tribute begins just over the hill in a childlike drawing of a youngster riding a bicycle past crudely sketched houses. The simple celebration of sandy beach and salty smell quickly moves far out to sea. "I rub shoulders with North America and bump into Africa I slosh around South America and crash into Europe." There's an occasional comma, but never a period in the meandering reflection. Many beguiling touches emerge in the broad paintings with Karas's characteristic flat figures of people and animals. Faint lines of latitude and longitude or the face of a compass appear in the water, and the shadow of a plane mingles "with skates and whales and fish that fly." An intriguing set of curved arrows encloses snips of scenes on white pages, suggesting the water's circuitous travel from continent to continent. Where "Artists paint pictures of me with cerulean, cobalt and ultramarine," bands of these shades carry phrases quoting well-known poets. In the end, the book is also a lesson about preserving the ocean waters, strongly stated in brief concluding notes. The oblique, poetic references will be best understood by those readers with a bit of background in geography and science.
Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: NP (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (March 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142400270
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142400272
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.1 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By C. Holcomb on September 7, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book begins with a look at the ocean, but brings in related concepts such as tides, water cycles, and natural resources. The illustrations are beautiful and it provides a great bridge between science and art. I use several of Karas' books in my science classroom to show students how Earth's systems work together and how science topics are interdependent.
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A Kid's Review on October 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I think this is a good book for kids because it is illustrated and desgined well. It is bright and the pictures match the words. It is like a poem. It is writen in a piot of vew from the Atlantic Ocean. He tells what he sees and does and how he helps. It teaches you about the Atlantic Ocean. I rate this book a very good Redclover .Read this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent children's book that can be used as a fantastic example of voice in writing. Not only does the book provide a unique presentation of facts about the Atlantic ocean, but it is told in the perspective of the ocean. In elementary writing classes (1-5) this is an excellent book to model voice.
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