Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Hear the Sea

Henry, Mylène (Illustrator)
Annick Press 2015. 24 pages
First published: 2015
Series: Look Around Books
ISBN: 9781554517602 (hardcover)
9781554517619 (e-book)
Original language: French
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Originally written in French, this poetic picture book celebrates the magic of the sea.

Personified through the third person pronoun—“she”—the sea seems to embody the sacred feminine. From the first page, alliterations roll in like waves, enchanting the ears: “She scatters stars in the sand/And keeps the secrets of deserted castles.”

None of the original poetry gets lost in translation as words paint vivid images, supported by aquatic illustrations. Everything appears to undulate as blue-green swirls add movement to the lines: “She changes colour with her moods/And makes sails dance/in the summer breeze.”

Seagulls in full flight heighten spreads full of light: “She splits sunlight/into thousands of/silvery reflections/And caps her waves with/foam to tickle our feet.” Readers are reminded of the sea’s playful side as swimmers frolic in her froth.

In the closing spreads, illustrations of children have a vintage feel, evoking the sea’s timeless, cyclical nature. “She paints the colour of/summer on our cheeks/And rocks us to sleep all year long.” A sunny image of a boy snoozing in a hammock, a seashell held up to his ear, asserts the sea’s powerful pull.

  •  Brainstorm what you know about the sea. What do you see, feel, smell? What is hidden from view?
  •  

    What memories do you have of playing in water: in a bath, a pond, a river, a lake or an ocean. Draw a picture of your favourite memory. As a caption, explain what makes this memory special.

  •  

    Write your own book in the style of this one. Choose another natural element (wind, rain, fire). Make a list of ideas and interesting details. Shape your ideas in the same way as this book: “The wind comes without warning. It weaves into little spaces in our coats.”

  •  

    Practise a song such as “A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea” or “Down By the Bay.”

  •  

    On a picture walk, discuss what you see. Look in a picture dictionary to find the names of sea creatures. Add some of them to your personal picture dictionary.

  •  

    Brainstorm what you know about the sea. What can you see, feel, smell? What can’t you see?

  •  

    What are the benefits of going to the seaside? What other places might create similar feelings? Bring in photos or draw a picture of such a place. Describe it in the same style.

  •  

    Discuss how to ensure that the sea remains a great place to visit.

  •  

    Notice how the author uses the pronoun “she” for the sea. Why do you think this is so?

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use information
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Visual Arts