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While sitting in science class on a Friday afternoon, a student watches all kinds of sea creatures move about the room
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On a slow Friday afternoon in science class, a girl gazes into the fish tank, "where lacy fish / circle mossy towers / and brown snails hug / the glassy walls." Her concentration cedes to dreams "of waves, / of water swirling / higher and higher / until our room / is sunken / like a ship / in a shining sea." While the other students study unawares, she entertains a host of sea creatures: "pale octopi / skitter from the pages / to the smooth dark floor"; eels slither down the desk rows; dolphins fly among hanging coats; and one small yellow fish befriends her. Ryder tantalizingly meshes the two worlds of the girl's intense imagination and of the ordinary classroom activity. Schwartz's gouache and air brush illustrations catch the playfulness and match the precision of Ryder's poetry. When "the cold sharp bell / breaks Friday's spell," the girl leaves the sea, but the mood of her daydream lingers in the gentle, unexpected ending. Capturing the interplay of imagination and invention, this eloquent tale accurately and creatively replicates the wonder inspired by the best science education. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 5-8. The girl in the science class here may not be paying attention to the teacher, but at least her daydreams stick to the subject. As she looks around the room, she sees it filled with seawater, with fishes, octopuses, eels, seals, sea horses, jellyfish, and dolphins. "I tuck my legs under my chair and let the sharks slide by. I can almost touch them." Precise lines define the sea creatures with all the realism of the lab tables and chalkboard, while shades of bright colors shape the spaces. Not quite as vivid as the author's Just for a Day series, this nonetheless succeeds at displaying its dreamlike quality. Recommended for larger collections. Carolyn Phelan
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Book Description William Morrow & Co, 1993. Condition: New. Carol Schwartz (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M0688070590