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The Sea Serpent and Me
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The Sea Serpent and Me

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  266 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
When a tiny sea serpent tumbles from the bathtub faucet, a little girl finds an unexpected friend. As rainy day after rainy day passes, the two sing songs, take baths, and talk about the sea.
But little girls live on land, and a growing sea serpent needs wave upon wave of water.
Here’s a story about the true meaning of friendship, perfect for children, parents, and anyone
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 19th 2008 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Nov 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kathryn by: Abigail, thank you!
Loved this imaginative, sweet story about a young girl who finds a baby sea serpent in her bathtub. As the sea serpent grows, their friendship develops; as does the obviousness that the sea serpent cannot stay in the girl's bathroom forever. This has one of those bittersweet endings where I felt like cheering and crying at the same time as it shows the enduring bond of friendship and the selflessness true friends show for one another. The illustrations are charming and magical. A winner!
Mar 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: with-msb
Of course I love it -- I wrote it! And I'm delighted that it was a finalist for a Cybil award as well as being a Junior Library Guild Selection. It is also on the Librarians' Choices list of the 100 best books for children and young adults for 2008. You can find whole lot of terrific reviews plus a free teacher's guide, and suggestions of sea serpent crafts and activities on my website: I'll be hosting a Q&A soon -- watch for it!
An Abundance of Books
Dec 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-reviews
On Tuesday a tiny sea serpent drops into a little girl's bathtub. He was tiny, and beautiful, they played together, and at night he slept in the fish tank next to her bed. A tornado had swept the tiny creature into the clouds, where he floated over "green jungles and silvery cities" to finally fall with the rain into a lake in which there was a pipe that "whooshed him along and splashed him down into my tub." The little girl knows her new friend misses the sea because that is where he belongs. S ...more
Dec 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teachers, parents, and kids
Recommended to Relyn by: I love the illustrator.
This book was fun with great illustrations. Nothing breathtaking. Just nice. -- original rating 3 stars --

It's funny how our opinions change over time. I didn't even remember reading this. I was surprised when I found it already here on my lists. Obviously, I didn't enjoy it the first time. This time, though, I was having a hard time reviewing it because I love it so much. This tall tale feels real and immediate somehow. I believe any day-dreaming kid will fall for this sweet little stor
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids
I read all kinds of reviews and had high expectations. But that doesn't explain how much I didn't like the book. I didn't dislike it, either, I suppose. I just didn't like the idea of a sea serpent that came from the sea ending up in the bathroom (toilet, if I remember correctly). Its disturbing to me as a adult, I can imagine it could make my kids them have a weird fear of the bathroom. I am willing to say that perhaps I'm overreacting to that part of the story, but I really don't think so.

Dec 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A story of friendship beautifully told and illustrated. The little girl and sea serpent become close friends and confidants, but they both know that their time together is limited, as, "people need towels, and dry clothes, and dinner, and sea serpents belong in the sea". A lovely story about the sacrifices friends sometimes need to make. And really, who hasn't dreamed of having a sea serpent for a pet?
Sep 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
would it not totally freak out children that a snake falls into the bathtub from the sea?!?!!? this is a book with deep meaning that adults would grasp (true friendship) but is lost on children, who will see the sea serpent growing from worm-sized to whale-sized and gain only a hint of the relationship aspect of the tale, methinks. i'm surprised it didn't illicit nightmares from the girls like bambi. on a positive note, if i must have one, the book's illustrations are surreal and peaceful.
Juli Anna
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Super cute story infused with just the right balance of humor and sentiment. Slater subverts the traditional parent/child role by compressing time and allowing the child character to experience the pangs of watching someone they are close to grow up and become independent. Simple and clear, with lovely illustrations.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sweet story with a message of it's okay to let someone go for their own good. Reminded me of sending my kids off on their own adventures. I was a little teary eyed and my 11 year old cried.
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Absolutely beautiful illustrations and a poetical story to accompany them.
Niki Marion
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Dammit, Catia Chien, the talent on you!
Title: The Sea Serpent and Me
Author: Dashka Slater (illiustrated by Catia Chien)
Genre: Children’s
Challenges: PB & J Challenge, 101 Books in 1001 Days Challenge, A to Z Reading Challenge, 2009 Support Your Local Library, 20 Books in 2009, Read Your Name Challenge 2009, Pages Read Challenge, Young Reader's Challenge 2009, Read a Book a Month Challenge, Summer Vacation Reading Challenge 2009

Rating: 4/5
No. of Pages: 40
Published: 2008
From the inside cover: When a tiny sea serpent tumbles from the
Nov 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
This book was fantastic for a few reasons:

1.) illustration—the images were unlike any other book I've seen; the ocean creatures were especially well-done in a very artistic way without being strange or scary. I loved the color palette, too.

2.) story—it had a very imaginative, unique feel to it. I didn't feel at any point that it fit into some sort of prescribed formula. The story is very strange, but without being told in a strange way. If that makes any sense.

3.) the girls loved it, too : )
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a sweet tale about friendship and the words alone give the narrative an almost lyrical quality (i.e., "We rode the waves as if they were horses and floated as gently as stars in the sky." (pp. 28-29). Paired with the acrylic and charcoal pencil illustrations, the story really seems to come alive.

The only hesitation I would have is that the sea serpent appeared by dropping out of the faucet and into the bathtub. That might creep out some children. Still, we enjoyed reading this book toge
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've never reviewed a children's book before, but this one has inspired me. A little girl finds a baby sea serpent, the two become fast friends, and then they must say goodbye. I loved the theme of growing up and facing independence, and the illustrations are perfect - dreamy and watery. Probably best for the 5-8 year range.

"I'm very big," he said. "But the sea's a lot
bigger. Maybe I should stay with you."
I stroked his neck and almost said yes.
But soon he'd be as big as a wave,
And I knew he'd b
The illustrations in this book are amazing. The water color strokes are so whimsical and detailed. The story is about an adorable, imaginative girl who makes friends with a sea serpent. He begins as a small serpent that came through the pipes of the little girls bath tub. Through the next few days he quickly out grows the house that she lives in so she makes the journey to the sea. Cute story about friendship.
Apr 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
I've read way too many books about "letting go" today. This one was probably the most fantastic of them all but hit home in a real way. Those are often the best.

The emotional aside, it's such a fun story! A little sea monster comes out the water drain while a girl is taking a bath. Early on, they decide that the monster must go back to live in the sea, but it gets bigger and bigger each day as the little girl puts off parting with her new friend.
Sep 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A tale like they are rarely told these days. The relationship between the girl and the sea serpent is beautifully and richly developed with just a scant few phrases. The language is poetic. The girl shows a great maturity in helping the sea serpent to return to his home, though she will miss him terribly. The story echoes that of a parent raising a child, then encouraging the young adult to set out on his/her own. A gem of a book.
Oct 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
One night, a little sea serpent flowed into a little girl's tub with her bath water. It grew bigger and bigger each day. The girl eventually got the sea serpent back to the sea but not before she had formed a great friendship.

Great for storytimes. Good story about loving something enough to let it go.
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really like reading this one on the last day that I have second grade, it is a really good bitter-sweet moving onto the next thing story (they change schools for third grade). Also, the author has put together some wonderful related resources on her website:
Sep 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Not the rollicking fun of Kellogg's The Mysterious Tadpole, but it has its own special magic. I like anything Loch Ness monsterishy, and I love a children's story with that anything and everything might happen magical sensibility.
Nov 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I got this book to read to Clare --- and I have gotten choked up each time at the end. It is such a sweet book. Really was not expecting to get emotional about it, but I did. And that is the power of a good book!
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
adorable! can't believe it's already out of print. the narrative tenses and pronouns drove me crazy the more i read it out loud though. the preschooler loved it, but i found myself editing the pronouns and he said/she said's as we went.
Dec 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This has been a favorite of my girls for some time now. It's a sweet story of love and letting go. The illustrations are beautiful too.

Be careful though: Amy & I both tear up nearly every time we read it!
Apr 11, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a sweet book for youngsters who need to learn the bitter sweet lesson of letting go for the good of someone (here a sea serepent) that you love. Maybe it's parents who will learn the lesson while reading the book aloud.
Jan 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
So, I don't usually include the picture books that I pick up from the library on my good reads list. However, I just read this one to my two little boys and had the darnedest time not breaking down as I finished reading. So, so sweet. LOVED it.
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
Fantastic. Some people give it a lower rating because they fixate on the origin of the Sea Serpent into the bathroom, however as long as the reader doesn't fixate on that, I doubt the children listening to them will either.
The Brothers
A little girl ends up with a sea serpent in the bath and takes care of him a few days before taking him back to the ocean. They become friends and learn about growing up and moving on.

Illustrations are good.
Lovely, original story about a girl who makes friends with the tiny sea serpent that comes through her bath faucet...and grows and grows.

Pretty watercolor-style illustrations, lyrical text, and a warm relationship between the girl and sea serpent make this an enjoyable story.
Raegan Rocco
Jun 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Nice picture book about finding a friend the flourishing of that friendship and then needing to say goodbye! Nice bright pictures! Will use as one of books I read for Summer Programs as it compliments program theme and overal Summer Reading Club Theme: Splash, Celebrate Summer!
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Dashka Slater’s novel, The Wishing Box, was named one of the best books of the year by the Los Angeles Times, which called it “an impish novel, hopeful and full of humor.” She is the author of four acclaimed children's books: Baby Shoes; Firefighters in the Dark; The Sea Serpent and Me and Dangerously Ever After. She has two picture books forthcoming in 2017, as well as the much-anticipated Young ...more
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