Saturday, June 17, 2017

Books from My Childhood: Ocean Tales

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  I suggest looking for the books mentioned at your local library.

I love being able to read the books of my childhood to my children.   Since I grew up on a boat many of my favorite stories involved the sea.  Here are three of my childhood favorites.  All are set in and around the ocean, and in all of them the main characters take a long journey filled with adventure and wonder.

by Stephen Cosgrove

Serendipity was on of my favorite stories as a child...and it became one of my child's favorite stories. It's a book about a pink sea monster who has various adventures while trying to find out who she is. Reading it as an adult was different though.  While I still loved the beautiful illustrations and poetic writing style, it seemed "preachier" than I remember in its message about taking care of our oceans.    But my son didn't seem to be bothered by that and asked me to read it again, and again, and again.

There's two versions of this with older illustrations (which I prefer), and one with newer illustrations made to look more like a cartoon that was based on this (which I never, until recently, even knew about).  This is a first in a series this author wrote, all having fantasy elements, a moral at the end, and the same style of illustration.   At least one of the other stories also features Serendipity:  Cap'n Smudge.   It also was a favorite of mine as a child.
by Leo Lionni

Swimmy is a story about a little fish, and his adventures in the ocean.  I love the beautiful charming "stamped" illustrations.   The story starts out with a tragedy...Swimmy is the only one of a large school of fish that escapes being eaten by a bigger fish.     The book quickly moves on to Swimmy's exploring the ocean and discovering wonderous things until he finds another school of fish, and figures out a way to help them explore the ocean too without being eaten.

I wondered if that would upset my son but it didn't.   Like me as a child, he loved the story and asked to read it many times.

Scuffy the Tugboat
by Gertrude Crampton

This is a story of a little toy tugboat which wants to do bigger things than just float in a bath-tub, and gets a chance when he's lost in a little stream that turns into a giant river taking him all the way to the ocean, where he is found once again.

I'm sure my mom bought it for me as a child because it featured a tug-boat, and we lived on a boat very nearly like it (if colored differently).  I even had a little, similar, tug-boat for my bath.

My children, unfortunately, didn't like this one as much as I did as a child.

 Our "Scuffy"

Our family lived here until I was 10.

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  1. Oh I remember Scuffy! I loved that book.

    1. Yeah, I still see it around sometimes in bookstores and such. Makes me smile.

  2. I knew about Swimmy (have it in the house right now) and Scruffy, though I don't remember what it is about. But I have never heard of Serendipity. Sounds cute.
    Thanks for sharing over at Littles Learning Link Up. Glad to have you stop by again. I think you probably already noticed this post was featured this week.
    I was wondering if you would allow me to include it in the Under the Sea Fishy Literature and Craft Round Up that should be going life next week.
    Have a great week.

    1. Thank you so much for featuring it this week. I would love for it to be included in the Sea/Fishy Lit and Craft Round Up too!