Bonder, Dianna – A, B, Sea: A Deep Sea Symphony – Book Review

Click here to buy A, B, Sea: A Deep Sea Symphony

This is an astonishing alphabet book meant for an older child. The detailed pages are reminiscent of Graham Base’ s Animalia. Every page explodes with brightly colored illustrations of sea creatures playing instruments. Although the animals are personified, their detail and coloring is true to life. On the final pages of the book is a listing of hidden letters, starfish maestros, and words that begin with the featured letter on each page. There is a “Where’s Waldo” component.

Each page is written in verse. Although the rhythm does not hold true for every page, it is still a pleasure to read aloud. Alliteration occurs when the author tries to list as many things as possible beginning with the featured letter on each page.
Because this book is about a symphony, every page features different instruments. Most instruments will be familiar to the reader: bassoon, cello, glockenspiel, and mandolins. There is more of a variation of sea creatures: dogfish, electric eel, flounder, Marlins and quahogs.

The vocabulary is highly enriched. There are wonderful color words such as lime-colored, leva-red, and ultramarine. There are delicious adverbs and adjectives such as languishing, eerily, radiant, noteworthy, gyrating, profound, rambunctious, and untimely. But the verbs are best of all: squeal, shriek, invoke, he, hypnotize jitter, inking, recline, unveils, and prance. There are also numerous words for sea creatures and sounds.

This book could be used to supplement any unit on vocabulary enrichment, music, alliteration, and ocean life. I could easily see this becoming a choral chant with added instrumental sounds. What a lot of fun a class would have with this wonderful book.


Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages