I used this book called Hello Ocean while babysitting. The kids had fun discussing all of the things we can smell with our noses, touch with our skin, see with our eyes, hear with our ears and taste with our tongues. Some of the words the children did not understand and we talked about what those words meant. They loved the large bright illustrations of a sandy beach and a sparkling blue ocean.
This story of Hello Ocean starts with a family of four heading to the beach. Mainly the story focuses on a girl of about eight-years-old and what her senses tell her about the ocean and beach atmosphere. The girl sees the ocean and talks about it being like a chameleon; it is always different colors. She also talks about other things she sees, such as the waves. Then we see her dashing into the tall waves and she says that she hears the ocean. The loud crashing of the waves and then how quiet the water is going back into the ocean.
Then we see her playing in the ocean and she talks about touching it. All the ways that the ocean feels to her, even tickling with splashing spray. The wet sand feels different than the water and seaweed too. The next picture shows her laying on a towel smiling…the smells at the beach are of suntan lotion, salty wind, smelly fish, and fragrant ore from holes dug steep. She can taste the ocean too and realizes that it tastes just like her tears! The family leaves the beach when the skies start darkening and they say farewell to the ocean for now.
There is a beautiful illustration in Hello Ocean of the young girl, but it seems strange to me as she is licking the water from her face. Such a beautiful, realistic painting, but her licking really makes it odd-looking! Some of the girls in the story have blond hair and light skin but seem to tan as the book goes along! One little girl has a darker skin tone and looks to be Hispanic possibly with dark hair. The pictures of the ocean and blue skies are absolutely stunning! So realistic! As I said, some words such as screak, embrace, wafting, reeky, ore, and musty had to be explained as not one child knew any of those words. Some lines rhyme, but some do not.
Reading Hello Ocean was fun in the way it is written, the rhythm makes it very easy to read aloud. The questions and hands thrown up at each word the children did not know was not as fun. One child kept saying ewww every time seaweed was mentioned or seen in the book. I would recommend it to Kindergarten and above. A great book called Hello Ocean to talk about each of the five senses.
Also from this contributor:
Review: Glad Monster, Sad Monster: A Book About Feelings by Anne Miranda and Ed Emberley