Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Sea Serpent and Me by Dashka Slater; illustrated by Catia Chien

The Sea Serpent and Me Dashka Slater; illustrated by Catia Chien

Reading level:
Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (May 19, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0618723943
ISBN-13: 978-0618723942

Houghton Mifflin's spring catalog has some wonderful books for children of all ages, and I haven't been disappointed yet with the books I've seen from Girlwood and The Willoughbys to Sisters and Brothers. The Sea Serpent and Me is no exception.

One evening, a little girl is having her bath when a tiny sea serpent slips into her bathtub from the faucet. After playing, the girl promises to take him back to the sea the next day. But the next day it's raining and the next day and the next day. As the sea serpent rapidly grows, the girl and the sea serpent become close friends as they play together, sing songs, and tell each other stories. But the day comes when the now giant sea serpent must go back to where he belongs. But is he ready to leave his new friend and return to the sea?

Children will love the idea of a cute little sea serpent suddenly appearing in the bathtub one day, and they'll be entertained as they see the serpent grow and grow. Catia Chan's soft, yet vivid illustrations give the book a dreamlike and watery feel and create an enchanting atmosphere.

This is a fantastic book that celebrates friendship, courage, imagination, and childhood. I highly recommend it for any child's library.

Note: Why the official publication date is not until May 18, it's available on now.


  1. Oh, this looks like a winner. I can already tell I'll love the illustration just from the cover, and your description of the content has sewn it up- thanks!

  2. Jenny,
    I really love this book, and I failed to quote my favorite passage from it in my review...

    This is when the girl takes the sea serpent back to the ocean:

    " '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 big as a wave, and I knew he'd be happiest in the sea.

    'I'll stay right here,' I told him. 'I'll wait till you're ready.' "

    Love it.