cover image An Ocean World

An Ocean World

Peter Sis. Greenwillow Books, $16 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-688-09067-8

In this practically wordless picture book, a whale that has been raised in captivity is returned to the open ocean. Never having seen another of her kind, she mistakes several objects for fellow whales--a spouting boat, a submarine, a whale-shaped dirigible--until she finally comes upon a mate. Sis illustrates this gentle, quixotic tale with shimmering watercolors in all the hues of the sea and sky: the blues and greens of the sky and waves, the monotonous gray of a drenching rain over the water, the oranges and pinks of the sun. The isolation and hopefulness of the whale--who is amiable but tiny against the ocean--speak poignantly for themselves. And at every turn the reader must consider the visual similarities between often very disparate objects--the book thus becomes a rich invitation to experiment with seeing and imagining the world in new and unexpected ways. Ages 3-up. (Oct.)