CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 14 . . . . March 2, 2007
A Sea-Wishing Day.
Robert Heidbreder. Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2007.
32 pp., cloth, $17.95.
Children's poetry, Canadian (English).
Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 5-8.
Review by David Ward.
I wished so hard to sail the sea
That the sea sailed right to me!
In the back of a city home, a child wishes for the sea instead of the tiny wading pool of the yard. Right on cue, the ocean surges at the child's feet and the adventure begins. Dog and child leap on board a vacant sailing ship and captain the boat through wild seas. They meet a rogue wave as big as Poseidon, a nine-headed sea serpent, pirates and mermaids. Escaping all danger, the child and dog make it safely back to their pool in the yard.
A Sea-Wishing Day is a wonderful, lyrical story. Robert Heidbreder has weaved a tale that will engage young readers and honour older readers with words such as shimmied, rigging, and capsize. The story allows for multiple renderings and interpretations, a characteristic that will bode well for read alouds or guided reading sessions. Kady MacDonald Denton's illustrations are rendered in water-based gouache and genuinely complement the text. The child's blue pants, reddish top and mop of hair stand out on each page and draw the reader's attention the flow of the story while the pirates, mermaids and rogue waves all have a playful creativity of their own. This story encourages imagination, prediction and rhyme and will make an excellent contribution to classroom libraries.
David Ward is a children's author and researcher at the University of British Columbia.
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