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Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  302 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
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.
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published March 14th 2012 by Chronicle Books
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This is a challenging one for me to rate. Most of the poems were maybe three stars for me, but a few I really liked (the title poem and the Octopus Ink especially) and the illustrations are lovely! I also appreciate the variety of ocean creatures portrayed in the collection. So, overall I was not as smitten as I'd hoped to be but I'd still recommend that any fans of poetry and sea life check it out for themselves. You might also want to check it out simply for the stunning artwork.
Nov 16, 2014 GoldGato rated it liked it
Here lie the bones of twenty trees,
lost far from home under gallons of seas.

A shipwreck in the locker of Davy Jones never sounded so yearning, taken from the viewpoint of the decaying wood. It's an example of the ocean poems by Kate Coombs, written for children but useful to the wee adult, too. Accompanied by shimmering watercolours from Meilo So, this is a good book for parent and child to either read together or for children to begin learning easy poetry.

Deep water shimmers,
A wind-shape passes
Rachael Stein
Jan 11, 2013 Rachael Stein rated it it was amazing
"I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by."

"For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea."

Admission: I have a great weakness for sea poetry. Like Melville's Ishmael, "when my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time
A delicate, lyrical love letter to the ocean and its creatures. This would make a wonderful read aloud. Full of figurative language and science vocabulary.

The watercolor illustrations by Meilo So perfectly accompany the poems with soft edges and vibrant colors. So's bio in the back is a treasure all its own.

Apr 11, 2015 Paul rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit, poetry
Some of the poems in this book shine, but the consistent beauty throughout is Meilo So's watercolor illustrations as she captures waves, fish and other sea creatures, birds and shells, the deep and the sky above.
Nov 25, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Wonderful variety in the poems: in form, rhyme scheme, tone, vocabulary, topics. Outstanding watercolors.
Apr 10, 2013 Carolynne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Malinda
Charming poetry with a seashore theme would get this book four stars, perhaps, but the exquisite watercolor illustrations deserve 5 stars. These are no wishy-washy watercolors, either, but vividly colored paintings that enhance the poetry. Notice the illustrations for the poem "What the Waves Say," for example. The artist, Meilo So, describes her self as "Made in Hong Kong, Packaged in England, Domiciled in the Shetland Islands," and the reader can see the Chinese influence along with the rich e ...more
Jun 02, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, ncbla2013
The 23 poems in this themed collection explore the beauty and mystery of the sea in descriptive language guaranteed to prompt readers to book an oceanside vacation immediately. The evolution of sand is described thusly: "Now we grind and we grumble,/ humbled and grave,/ at the touch of our breaker/ and maker, the wave" (unpaged). The poems hop and skip from tide pools to a sea urchin who "fell in love with a fork" (unpaged) to waves that "Roll green, rise and lean--" (unpaged) as well as paying ...more
Apr 13, 2013 Kim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Gorgeous book ... saw it last night and had to buy it... Beautiful poetry and gorgeous illustrations!
For the silly to the sublime...
For example -
Tide Pool Shopping:
"I'm going shopping at the tide pool.
They carry everything there-
mussels by the bushel
and three kinds of barnacle,
starfish and gobies to spare.

My mama gave me a shopping list.
I know I can find what she likes....etc."

"Deep water shimmers.
A wind-shape passes,
kimono trailing."

My daughter has thoroughly studied the picture
Melissa Berke
I have a book to share with you today, but I’m not going to share the entire book because it is not a story, but a collection of poems. As part of our concert we will be making music sculptures based on some of the poems in this collection written by Kate Coombs. We are going to begin by listening to the poem “What the Waves Say”. As I recite this poem pay close attention to the verbs the poet uses and think about the movements that might accompany those words.

Opening Moves (Fountas &
Apr 30, 2014 Lynn rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-nf, poetry
Soft , beautiful watercolors add to the ocean feel of these poems for youngsters. Some are two page spreads, others are images of a single ocean creature. The whale's fluke is splashing above the surface of the water with a shipwreck at the bottom, all in one spread which the reader turns the book to sense the enormity of the whale. For the waves, seven small frames provide different images of the many forms waves can take, along with lots of great descriptive words: 'murmer shush', 'roll green' ...more
Amy Forrester
Mar 07, 2014 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing
This book, winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, was recently named an ALA Notable Book for Children for 2013. Beautiful watercolor illustrations accompany poems that glory in the wonders of the ocean. From hermit crabs to sea urchins, driftwood to tides, the short poems encourage readers to take a closer look at marine life. The poems are a mixture of rhyming and non-rhyming. Some are clever, others are humorous or thoughtful. Try incorporating individual poems into a storytime on fis ...more
Xin Luan
Apr 23, 2014 Xin Luan rated it really liked it
This book is so beautiful. Its beautiful poems and beautiful pictures tell us about mystery sea and all kinds animal live in or around sea. The poems and pictures of this book describe lots of animal, including seagulls, sea urchin and jellyfish, and they also plain all kinds of phenomenon what happen in sea, such as wave, tide. After read this book, I feel I have see the sea by eyes.
The words of this book are graceful and the form of the poems are versatile, so it is excellent book to learn wo
Rebecca Ostrega
Dec 01, 2015 Rebecca Ostrega rated it it was amazing
This is my first Poetry Book Review:

The poems in the book are related to things found in the ocean. Some are common such as Sharks, Whales, and Seagulls, while others are not as common such as the Oarfish, Nudibranch, and Gulper Eel. The book also talks about non-animals things like the tide, sand, and what waves say. Since the title is Ocean Sings Blue, I was expecting a poem about that, but was impressed to find that I loved the book even with that part missing. I think it would be a wonderful
Jan 28, 2015 Mak rated it it was ok
Most of the poems are nice, fun, and pretty. After growing up in Maine near the ocean I can appreciate the art and descriptions. But, some of them are ridiculously short and silly. For me, the sudden prayer and mention of the lord was off-putting. I would have much preferred this book if it went all in; not just put words together because they relate to the ocean and its creatures. Water Sings Blue was nice, but could have been so much better for me if there was a theme of learning and usefulnes ...more
Watercolor illustrations add to the nature of these ocean themed poems
Becky B
A poetry collection that celebrates things of the ocean.

Coombs' voice in this collection reminds me a bit of Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses they're very lyrical and sometimes rather deep, to the extent I would recommend this for middle or upper grades. I'm not sure how much of the poetry little kids will understand. Would be a great book for more advanced classes studying poetry styles though. Coombs uses a variety of poetry formats and lots of imagery. The illustrations were sophisticat
Laura Lucero
Mar 17, 2016 Laura Lucero rated it really liked it
Water sings Blue: Ocean Poems, written by Kate Coombs and Illustrated by, Meilo So is a lovely book celebrating our beautiful oceans and the creatures that habitat there as the waves hit the sand. The illustrations beautifully depict the feelings you get when you get when the ocean water laps up on your toes and the warm ocean breeze hits your face. The illustrations are done in watercolor and are vibrant with the colors of the shore. A great book to read-a-loud as an introduction to a lesson o ...more
Richie Partington
Mar 05, 2012 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
Richie’s Picks: WATER SINGS BLUE: OCEAN POEMS by Kate Coombs and Meilo So, ill., Chronicle, March 2012, 32p., ISBN: 978-0-8118-7284-3

“Song of the Boat

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.”

For the
Iowa City Public Library
Celebrate National Poetry Month by reading lots of verse for children. A new book of poems all by Kate Coombs entitled Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems will appeal to children who love the beach. The author grew up near the Pacific Ocean in California and she started collecting shells and writing poems as a child. This is her first book of poetry and she has included over twenty poems celebrating the ocean in all its mystery, power, depth and beauty. Jellyfish, coral, a sea turtle, a blue whale, ol ...more
Jennifer Weiss
Sep 28, 2012 Jennifer Weiss rated it liked it
This book had great illustrations in it, the pictures were vibrant and detailed and aids the the reader in understanding the point of the poem. The illustrations were unique, for example the page about the blue whale is drawn vertically so it is a longer image and you have to turn the book sideways to see it. I really liked this book not only are the pictures pretty to look at, but the poems were also informative and easy to read. This book teaches about the different aspects and life forms that ...more
This collection of whimsical poetry is accompanied by the most gorgeous watercolor artwork, which is the reason it caught my eye in the first place! I loved the idea of a collection of poems about the ocean with watercolor images - so perfect! However, I found the poetry to be inconsistent. Some poems I loved, while others left me feeling a little flat. I appreciate that the author doesn't take herself too seriously, and she incorporates just a slight sense of humor within some of her poems. Tak ...more
Nov 18, 2012 Linda rated it it was amazing
I am late reading this; many reviewed the book months ago, but I just never had it. I love how creative writers can be when they use real information and write about it so beautifully. Coombs has written of many of my own favorites, and adds her own ideas about the sea creatures. She traces sand from its beginnings, calling the ocean waves “its breaker and maker, which is its maker.” Then, there are the varieties of food available, called “Tide Pool Shopping” There is also a gorgeous vertical pa ...more
Taylor Anderson
Beautiful poetry about the ocean accompanied by beautiful pictures. This book definitely has the writing traits word choice and sentence fluency because of the rhyming nature and cadence of the lines. Water Sings Blue could be a part of a poetry text set, a part of a text set that is about the ocean/beach, or could be used as a read aloud before having students write poetry of their own.

Book Level: 4.1
Mackenzie Beals
May 14, 2014 Mackenzie Beals rated it really liked it
Shelves: ed-689
This is a beautiful book of poems that describe everything related to the ocean: a boat, sand, a tide pool, waves, fish, jellyfish, coral, etc. The illustrations in watercolor wonderfully express the vivid colors in the ocean. The poems are straight forward but give the reader a great picture of life in the ocean.
Young Reader Reaction: At first my 10-year-old wasn't sure she liked the book. Picture books are for "little kids," but then she started looking at the illustrations. They drew her in, and by the time we'd finished reading, she told us this is a book "for calming you down."

Adult Reader Reaction: I can see why our daughter loved the illustrations. There are pages where you sense (feel, hear) the surf in the background. The humor is subtle and bold, like the colors on the page. There is a poem for
Jul 20, 2015 Kelly rated it it was amazing
This poetry text is illustrated in pen and ink, brush drawing, and gouache. The endpapers transport you to the beach. Feel the sand between your toes? Ocean poems are presented in couplets and stanzas, with interesting layouts and powerful word choices.

Practice fluency and timing with "Seagulls". Discuss onomatopoeia with "What the Waves Say". This poem shows illustrated panels in a two page opening, with eight panels and the poem written in one panel. WOW! Most of the other illustrations are f
Nov 10, 2015 Lindsey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
This is the perfect book for an ocean lover. The beautiful water color illustrations and the fun, whimsical poems really spoke to me. My kids weren't crazy about this book, but I'm going to buy it for myself.
Lady Lioness
From the Stars so Far list.

To be quite honest, I don't have a lot of experience with children's poetry so I'm unsure if this is a personal preference or what, but my main issue with this book was that there was no coherence to the poetry. Some were observational, one was an haiku, and several were fantasy. To me, it felt like the author gathered up all the ocean-related poems she had and sent everything to the illustrator, so that she could create a book from them.

My favorite poem was on pages
Sharon Lawler
Jul 18, 2014 Sharon Lawler rated it really liked it
Watercolor illustrations compliment poems about many aspects of a seashore and ocean environment from shipwrecks to seagulls to sea turtles. Very peaceful to read and enjoy.
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I was born in Spokane, Washington, but I spent most of my childhood in Camarillo, California, which is about an hour's drive north of Los Angeles. Whenever possible as a child, I read books—books, books, and more books. The rest of the time I rode my bike with my sister, Loni, or looked after my little brother and sister. Sometimes we went to the movies at an old theater we called "The Sticky Thea ...more
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