Monday, February 10, 2014

There was an old Sailor.....kind of wacky guy

Quote of the Day:

"A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen, is that you can take it to bed with you."
                                               - Daniel J. Boorstin

Title: There Was An Old Sailor
Author: Claire Saxby
Illustrator: Cassandra Allen

Most people are familiar with the classic book "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly", well here is the same concept but using a salty old sailor who swallows a krill.  Kids will delight in the fact that this old sea dog gulps down a krill and it makes him ill.  He then grabs a jelly (a jelly fish) and wolfs that down, then a fish, a squid....well you get the picture.  The refrain, "I don't know why he swallowed the krill - It'll make him ill." will be fun for you to repeat together as the story progresses. Each sea food item increases in size as the old fellow continues his eating frenzy and kids will love the hilarity and ridiculousness of it all.  As all satisfied eaters do, the old sailor gives a loud burp,  which alleviates his stomach pain, totally cures him and then he ships out.

The illustrations are so well done in gouache and pencil.  The pictures are bold and expressive which young readers will love.  The language is rhyming and singsongy (is that a word?), another aspect that is perfect for young readers.  This twist on an old classic is the perfect way to open up a discussion on the concept of the sea food chain.  Cleverly the author adds a segment at the end of the book called, "Fishy Facts" which gives information regarding the creatures that the old sailor has downed.  The book is a very fun read and gives lots of opportunities for you to learn more about life on and under the sea.

About the author:

Words have fascinated me as long as I can remember. I have always loved reading. I used to go home from boarding school and read for days on end, only emerging to swim and eat.
It took me much longer to realise that I also loved writing. But I'm doing my best to make up for lost time. I mostly write stories for children although I also write poetry (for adults and for children) and non-fiction articles.
I was born in Victoria, Australia, lived in several other states and spent some time in Papua New Guinea. Where I live now is within cooee of the hospital where I was born.
I have been playing with words for many years, but began writing for children in 1998. I have worked at many jobs including waitressing, vote counting, mail sorting, podiatry, sheet ironing and towel folding. I have worked in hospitals and in community health. I like writing best.
I now work part time in a bookshop where I get to unpack new books, and talk about books all day!


About the illustrator:


After years of study in Melbourne, including fine art, photography and multimedia, her independent illustration and graphic design business took form based in a collective studio in Melbourne. Several years later Cassandra followed her heart and focused exclusively on illustration. After moving to Europe she began illustrating children’s books, the most popular one to date titled There Was An Old Sailor first published in 2010 and republished in 2011.

                       Book Review Rating:  8 ( Fantastic!)
Read on and read always!  Have an awesome day everyone!
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