Reviews /

I Hear You, Ocean

Authored by Kallie George
Illustrated by Carmen Monk
Published by Greystone Kids

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I like the idea of this book which takes a family day trip out to the seaside and combines it with a soundscape, ideal for young children making those phonological links: rumbling pebbles, barking seals and whooshing shells, and would make a lovely story to share with young children, perhaps being made into story time actions. It is a sequel to ‘I Hear You, Forest’ in the Sounds of Nature Series.

The text is relatively minimal, with some repetitive phrases, and the illustrations clear and detailed, in muted naturalistic colours. However, perhaps not all the words would be directly recognisable, for instance ‘skree, skree’ is not a specifically identifiable bird (birds make all sorts of calls), whilst other words are not all actually ocean sounds, they might recognise or would be used as actual sound specific vocabulary, so is inconsistent in nature and could be a little confusing. Perhaps the Canadian background might have had an influence in this choice of vocabulary? The characters are illustrated to represent different ethnicities which embraces diversity.

This story will enable the reader to feel the empathy the child experiences for the beauty and wonders that surround them. It could encourage parents and teachers to read this book to their children and then take them on a stroll through their local park or wild space and listen for all the sounds around them. A nice addition for an early years library and for parents to read with their younger children.