The Mermaid and Other Sea Poems

Sophie Windham, Editor Scholastic $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-590-20898-7
Gray-blue and lavender endpapers decorated with fish and shells set the billowy but generally quiet tone of this collection of poems about the creatures-both real and imagined-that inhabit the briny deep. Windham's inventively designed illustrations feature borders of lobsters, snails and seaweed, and the varied selection of poems offer her opportunities for plenty of dreamy lullabies, including a sweetly endearing portrait of the ""weary wee flipperling"" in Rudyard Kipling's ""Seal Lullaby"": ""The storm shall not wake thee, nor sharks overtake thee,/ Asleep in the arms of the slow-swinging seas."" Opportunities for humor are less frequent and more subtle but nonetheless entertaining-as when Windham pictures the preening, lipstick-wearing fish who becomes the shark's dinner in E. V. Rieu's ""The Flattered Flying Fish,"" or the flailing oysters in Jack Prelutsky's ""Do Oysters Sneeze?"" From Ogden Nash's succinct ""The Eel"" (""I don't mind eels/Except as meals/And the way they feels"") to Ted Hughes's octopus poem ""My Other Granny,"" the assortment here is pleasing. All ages. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
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