Perfect Picture Book Friday Looks at Water Sings Blue

Ever since that first magical day when I saw the ocean as a child, I have been drawn to the soothing sound of the tides lapping on the sand in concert with the call of the gulls. I have loved searching for treasures in tidepools, loved finding colorful seashells, and enjoy holding smooth washed stones. I’m also easily enchanted by the momentary treasure of the etched lines the sandpipers draw in the sand as they run by before the next wave washes the sand clean. With so much to love about the ocean, it’s no wonder poets continually try to capture the magic of water, sand, and sea life.

Today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday review is Water Sings Blue, a collection of ocean poems that includes subjects such as waves, tide pools, and sea urchins along with the Nudibranch, a lesser known sea creature. Instead of writing poems about what one might find in a tide pool or the magical colors of coral, Kate Coombs often writes her poems from the unique and quite imaginative perspective of each ocean swimmer and treasure.

Maybe, after reading this book, you will be inspired to write a poem about where you live, a favorite place you’ve visited, or something special you treasure. Try to include as many of your senses as possible. Some places have a distinct smell or sound. Some objects have a texture. And don’t forget taste in case what you are describing happens to be a jelly doughnut or other favorite treat. Remember, even though we don’t associate taste with the ocean, often, after spending a day playing on the sand and in the waves, a salty taste is often part of the memory.

And now for today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday review.

Title – Water Sings Blue

Written by – Kate Coombs  

illustrated by  – Meilo So

Published by – Chronicle Books –  2012

Suitable for ages – 4-8

Topics – Ocean, poetry, and sea life

Opening –  

Push away from the stillness of the nut-brown land, from the road that leads to the shore.

Push away from the town with its tight tree roots, from its closed brown shutters and doors.

Push away–heave-ho–from the heavy brown pier, from its pilings huddled and dull.

For the water sings blue and the sky does, too, and the sea lets you fly like a gull.

Amazon Review –  View it HERE. Come down to the shore with this rich and vivid celebration of the ocean! With watercolors gorgeous enough to wade in by award-winning artist Meilo So and playful, moving poems by Kate Coombs, Water Sings Blue evokes the beauty and power, the depth and mystery, and the endless resonance of the sea.

Why do I like this book? Each time I open this book I’m transported to the ocean through the clever poems and thoughtful illustrations. Kate Coombs has a natural gift for putting herself into the mind of the ocean and its remarkable inhabitants. And Meilo So, a highly gifted illustrator, places the reader down in the depths of the ocean, on the sun-warmed beach, and inside of a cloud of octopus ink. Truly, this book is an amazing tour of ocean life.

Want to learn a little more about Kate Coombs? Click HERE.

Want to learn a little more about Meilo So? Click HERE.


Make a paper plate aquarium. Instructional video HERE.

How to fold an origami fish HERE.

Here’s a kid-friendly site with lots of fish craft ideas! HERE.

20 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday Looks at Water Sings Blue

  1. This first stanza is such a beautiful invitation.

    I most definitely think smells when I think ocean, not from my time on the Mediterranean, but all the Atlantic beaches I have visited in many different nations have all had that distinct briny smell!

    I don’t know how I have missed this gem, Leslie. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love spending time by the ocean. My all time favorite place to vacation for the past 40 years. Like you I love the sounds, the smells, the beauty. And you never forget your first childhood visit because it is so awe-inspiring. I would love this book. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve reached the point where I’ve returned to the poems in this book so many times that I better buy a copy so I don’t go through withdrawal symptoms when it’s time to return it to the library. If you love the ocean and all of its amazing inhabitant, you’re going to fall in love with this book, too.


  3. OK, I’m in. Chronicle makes beautiful books, but it’s easy to do when you start with such lovely, lyrical text. I’ve got to get this one. I’m tending to read more poetry these days. I think it helps my own writing. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds so much like me. On a recent vacation to the ocean, all I wanted was to sit on the beach and watch the tide push over the sand and pull back out to sea.

      The one thing that annoyed me was a couple sitting nearby. They were listening to rock music. I couldn’t help wondering how they could believe the amazing view, already accompanied by nature’s symphony of seabird song and the roar of waves, could be improved upon. Thankfully, they tired of the view and left me to enjoy the ocean in peace.


  4. What a gorgeous book, thank you for sharing Leslie. Living with the ocean only 15 minutes by car away I can always pop down to the beach. The best times are in spring and autumn in early morning or late afternoon when not too many people around. I love the smell the feel and taste. There is nothing like it. Hope I can pick it up down here.

    Liked by 1 person

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