Monday, July 1, 2024

Kid's lure of the water beach bag reading: Submarines, Mermaids, Aquatics [Review & 1 book Giveaway]


Celebrate the start of the summer with some great new picture books to tuck in your beach bag and enjoy together for some fun in the sun!

Dream Submarine by Charlotte Gunnufson & illustrated by Cleonique Hilsaca 

ISBN: 9781536224795
Hardcover $17.99 US

My thoughts:  This is a delightfully bright, colorful journey across the vast oceans of the world whilst tucked inside a tiny submarine. The dreamer (a sweet child) gazes at the plethora of fishes, sea creatures, grasses, etc. that inhabit the vast deep as they are seen through his submarine window.

As the journey is recounted, the text is rich with subtle alliteration phraseology, words that end similarly or sound similar - such as "Parrot fish sleep in slime sleeping bags," etc. Text that is rich for the young reader.

But perhaps one of the biggest gems of this children's book is the grasp of the vast ocean that covers our world. The ending statement "Despite all the different names, there is really only one global ocean" is bold, definitive, and worthy of contemplation.

Back pages include a two-page spread of the world showing the submarine's journey across the oceans. Also, a glossary and definitions of ocean creatures by the oceans they inhabit. And then the list of Ocean Zones describing the five layers, or zones, of the ocean. 

A very interesting book and one that children can enjoy and learn from multiple readings.

About the book:  Climb aboard the Dream Submarine and set your course for an eveningtide lullaby in this illustrated, illuminating journey of maritime enchantment.

Glide through the ocean with a young child in her cozy little submarine. See how marine animals brush their teeth, put on pajamas (by shifting colors to better blend in), and tuck themselves into sponge beds. Dive between towers of slumbering whales and see bioluminescent creatures paint galaxies in the abyss, then make a wish upon a sea star and let the Dream Submarine whisk you away. Author Charlotte Gunnufson gently guides readers to sleep as she introduces them to a host of mesmerizing sea creatures, while Cleonique Hilsaca’s colorful illustrations transform underwater environs into an imaginative dreamscape. Back matter features a map of the Dream Submarine’s journey, a deeper dive into the ocean’s zones and animals, and resources for further exploration.

Aqua Boy by Ken Wilson-Max 

ISBN: 9781536236644
Hardcover $17.99 US

My thoughts:
 This is a cute book about a boy that lives by the sea, and his family are guardians of the ocean. This seems to be an ecological group  of volunteers all over the world that help pick up trash and clean our oceans. (see

The little boy swims as do his friends, family, and neighbors. But he is afraid to put his head in the water. He is encouraged to trust that he will eventually do this. 

An octopus is stranded on shore and the boy's father assists it back into the water. The boy follows and is so entranced he, without thinking, goes under water and watches the octopus swim off.

About the book:  A boy’s love for the sea and marine animals spurs him to quiet bravery—and a transformative first experience—in a story that will resonate with young ocean lovers. Secret word: water

Aaron lives by the ocean with his sister, Angel, and his mom and dad, who are Ocean Guardians. He loves the smell of the air, the colors of the water, the sound of the waves, and the feel of sand between his toes. But unlike his sister, who dives into the waves all day long, Aaron shies away from putting his head in the water. How can he ever fulfill his dream of swimming with dolphins and whales? One day, as his family does beach cleanup after a storm, they come upon a stranded octopus. As Aaron helps his father with the rescue, he finds himself following the octopus underwater to watch it swim away. He did it! With warm illustrations and a gentle text, Ken Wilson-Max shows how environmental stewardship and empathy for the world’s animals can infuse us with unexpected bravery.

Mermaid Lullaby by Kenneth Kraegel 

ISBN: 9781536204667
Hardcover $17.99 US

My thoughts:
 An interesting children's fantasy that has mermaids swimming through seas in vivid colors in this imaginary undersea world. Scenes. Plants. Creatures. Colors. 

The illustrations are both sweet, interesting, and unusual. The mermaids tend to be child-like so this will appeal to the young child. The focus on colors will aid in learning colors. The details will enable discovery and wonder. It is a gently, soothing type of story that will make bedtime reading a pleasure.

About the book:  Explore the secret colors of a mermaid’s world in a lulling and lyrical story from the creator of the celebrated Mushroom Lullaby.

Today is a good day.
A good day for exploring.
A good day for exploring the colors of this world.

Enter the colorful realm of three mermaid friends and follow them through their enchanting day. Wake to the surprise of a red sunrise, explore a verdant underwater garden, and dive through waves of startling blue. In this delightfully dazzling story, one-of-a-kind creator Kenneth Kraegel nurtures young children’s minds and imaginations by merging a fresh color-concepts story with a soothing lullaby, gently ushering little listeners toward sleep and sweet dreams.

Prize: 1 copy of Dream Submarine 
Begins July 2
Ends July 31  @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize copy is provided and mailed directly to the winner by Candlewick Press or its publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

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