#49 in a series of posts celebrating the alphabet
Put on your bathing suit and flip flops. Grab your pail, shovel and shades. Let’s go to the beach!
Poet Richard Michelson and illustrator Doris Ettlinger celebrate the sights, sounds, smells, fun and mystery of a joyous day by the sea in their charming new picture book, S is for Sea Glass: A Beach Alphabet (Sleeping Bear Press, 2014).
Written in a variety of poetic forms (ode, haiku, free verse, rhyming couplets), Michelson’s poems range from lyrical to light, capturing the many moods, rhythms, and emotions associated with ocean and shore from A to Z.
Have you ever made a sand angel? Or maybe you’d rather show off your castle-building skills, stroll the boardwalk, or comb the beach for shells or sea glass, letting your imagination run wild with possibility. Was this piece from a “king’s cup/Or medicine bottle” — maybe even a pirate’s decanter? Whatever you decide, there’s nothing quite like a tossed and tumbled “gift from the ocean.”
Writing from various points of view, Michelson is equally adept at capturing the pure joy of an unleashed dog bounding down the beach when he sees “his boy,” as he is at evoking the dreamy serenity one experiences while gazing at the horizon.
Kids will enjoy hearing what the jellyfish, shells, gulls, rain and nautilus have to say, as they read about how good it feels to wiggle their toes into flip flops, breathe in the salt air, listen to the crash and rumble of waves. The seashore is magical even during winter, with its ice castle floor “of diamonds that shimmer and crystals that glisten.”
Ms. Ettlinger’s watercolor and pencil illustrations provide lovely, engaging canvases for the poems, drawing the reader into each scene with interesting details and fetching facial expressions. Her water blues are gorgeous, and there is palpable energy in her waves.
Enjoy these sample poems from this breezy collection brimming with sensory delights, and don’t forget your sunscreen :)!
* * *
F IS FOR FLIP-FLOPS
Winter is buckles and shoehorns and laces
And wingtips, galoshes, and high-tops,
But summer is giggles and smiling faces
And wiggling our toes into flip-flops.
* * *
H IS FOR HORIZON
Where does the sea stop and the sky begin?
Where does the sun rise when the dawn slips in?
Where does the ship sail when its sails disappear?
Is it under the ocean? Is it up in the air?
If I travel the world or stay here on this beach,
The horizon will always be just beyond reach.
But it’s real as my dreams and it’s always nearby –
That magical line where the sea meets the sky.
* * *
Z IS FOR ZZZZZZZZZZs ON THE BEACH
I’m feeling amazingly lazy –
been choosing to snooze in the sun.
Dad says we should play catch, swim, exercise,
toss Frisbees, or go for a run.
But days that are blazing and hazy,
I’d rather just catch a sea breeze.
So I think I’ll just finish my pizza
And cozy back down for some ZZZZZZZZZZs.
* * *
Mr. Cornelius hopes you’ll make some Flip Flop Cookies, the perfect let’s-celebrate-summer treat to munch on while you’re reading S is for Sea Glass. They’re easy to assemble using Nutter Butters, Twizzler Pull ‘n Peel licorice, flower-shaped sprinkles and a little frosting “glue.”
Always at the forefront of fashion trends, he likes mismatched pairs best and swears they taste better. (Hat tip to Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons.)
* * *
S IS FOR SEA GLASS: A Beach Alphabet
written by Richard Michelson
illustrated by Doris Ettlinger
published by Sleeping Bear Press, 2014
Poetry Picture Book for ages 7-10, 32 pp.
* * *
Carol at Carol’s Corner is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup. Swim over and check out all the cool poetic offerings being served up in the blogosphere today. Have a lazy dazy weekend!
♥ More alphabetica here.
*Interior spreads posted by permission of the publisher, text copyright © 2014 Richard Michelson, illustrations © 2014 Doris Ettlinger, published by Sleeping Bear Press. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2014 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.