Deep Underwater

Irene Luxbacher. Groundwood, $18.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-77306-014-9
Canadian artist Luxbacher (Malaika’s Costume) travels to the ocean, where blue-black currents swirl and a girl named Sophia invites listeners to explore with her: “Will you dive down and see?... I know you will. You are brave.” Dark, lush illustrations survey all sorts of ocean life: “I’ve seen clowns and angels and four-eyed butterflies,” Sophia says. Myriad textures and objects enliven the spreads: fine lines combed by underwater currents, worn sails on the mast of a wrecked ship; newsprint stands in for leaves, and fabric swatches represent seaweed tendrils. While Sophia dives down to discover life under the waves, the text suggests that she’s exploring her inner life as well as the deep sea. The reflection she sees in an underwater mirror becomes her companion, an ever-present twin who dances with her (“Deep down, I never feel alone. I can always see a friend in me”). The expedition’s goal may be unknown, but the adventure creates a sense of quiet wonder and contentment. Ages 4–7. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/18/2018
Release date: 08/01/2018
Genre: Children's
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