My Ocean Is Blue

Darren Lebeuf
Ashley Barron

A young girl's poetic exploration of the enchanting ocean she loves.

“This is my ocean”, the young girl begins as she heads over the dunes with her mother. Then, as they pass the whole day at the seaside, she lyrically describes her ocean in simple, sensory detail. It's both “slimy” and “sandy,” “sparkly” and “dull.” It has wonderful sounds, as it “splashes and crashes and echoes and squawks.” And it contains so many colors, from “rusted orange” to “runaway red,” “faded white” to “polished green.” Though “mostly it's blue.” Nothing the girl experiences escapes her careful observation and appreciation. And at day's end, she can't wait for her next trip to the beach.

Author Darren Lebeuf, an award-winning photographer, uses spare text and a rhythmic style to create an evocative read-aloud. The vivid adjectives, both concrete and abstract, will inspire children to try to capture in words what they notice not only at the ocean, but in any natural setting. The bright, richly colored cut-paper collage illustrations by Ashley Barron add a captivating visual texture and depth to the story. The portrayal of a girl with a physical disability enjoying and actively participating in a day at the beach encourages all children to do the same in their own lives, while also offering a character education lesson in adaptability. This book has strong curriculum ties to primary nature units and life science lessons on oceans and the seaside, and it offers a perfect focus for nature-based education and outdoor classrooms.

978-1-5253-0143-8 | Mar 3, 2020
List Price: USD $17.99, CAD $19.99
4-color 9 x 9 32 pages
Grades: PreSchool To 2 / Ages: 3 to 7
978-1-5253-0515-3 | Mar 3, 2020
List Price: USD $9.99, CAD $9.99

Awards & Reviews

“... enjoyable ...”
— Booklist, December 2019
“A joyful marine romp.”
— Kirkus Reviews, December 2019
“Ocean lovers of all ages will appreciate the vivid colors and beautiful text that recounts a lovely and relaxing day by the sea.”
— School Library Journal, Starred Review, February 2020
“My Ocean is Blue ... strikes just the right note as Lebeuf and Barron share a day at the seaside through a poetic text that is beautifully mirrored by exquisite watercolour, pencil crayon and collage illustrations.”
— The Globe and Mail, May 2020
“Not a story but an experience, with a spare text and much to look at in the illustrations ...”
— CM Magazine, May 2020
“Kids and adults alike will gain a new appreciation for the ocean after reading My Ocean is Blue ...”
— Hakai Magazine, July 2020
2021 - Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award, Ontario Arts Foundation, Short-listed
2020 - First and Best List, Toronto Public Library, Winner
2020 - Concept (Colors) Category, Northern Lights Book Awards, Winner

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