Friday, May 9, 2014

PPBF: S is for Sea Glass

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

S is for Sea Glass, by Richard Michelson and Doris Ettlinger

S is for Sea Glass: A Beach Alphabet
Written by Richard Michelson
Illustrated by Doris Ettlinger
Sleeping Bear Press, 2014
poetry, grades 2-5

Poetry, Ocean, Vacation

A is for Angel

When we're at the seashore the first thing I've planned
Is to lie really flat with my back to the sand.

I'll hold my arms close, then I'll stretch them out wide,
Sliding up overhead and back down to my side.

I'll sweep my legs outward, then swing them back straight,
Like I'm opening and closing a fairy-tale gate.

And when I stand up, Mom will say that she sees
The sand robes and wings of the angel in me.

S is for Sea Glass is the latest in the poetic alphabet series from Sleeping Bear. This book has a poem for every letter, in keeping with a beach theme. The author explores natural aspects of the beach, like the waves in winter, nautili, and jellyfish. His poems poke fun at vacationers and year-rounders alike. He captures the taste of the spray and the restlessness one begins to feel when it's time to pack for the shore. Mr. Michelson includes several forms of poetry including free verse.

G is for Gull,
art by Doris Ettlinger
What I Love:
I didn't mean to pick another poetry book this week, but I received S is for Sea Glass when it was released in January and have been itching for the right time to review it.

There is so much to love about this beautiful volume. The poems are clever and playful, especially L.

L is for Lighthouse

I don't want to be president and live inside the White House.
I'd rather be the resident key keeper of this lighthouse.
Mom's happy she's a doctor and my dad, he loves to teach.
But me, when I grow up, I never want to leave the beach.

And what can't be said about Doris Ettlinger's vibrant illustrations? Sloshing watercolors that mimic the wind and sea. Bright whites and glaring gold of the sun on the sand. Romping dogs and children, she's included them all.

If you're on the east coast, stop into one of these booksellers to get an autographed copy.
 Fair Haven NJ - May 16, 3:30-4:30 pm at River Road Books
Clinton NJMay 17, 1-3 pm at the Clinton Book Shop
NYCMay 30, 12 - 1 pm, Book Expo America at the Javitz Center 
Holmdel NJJune 1, 1 - 2 pm at Barnes & Noble
Tinicum PAJuly 12, 12:30 - 2:30 pm at the Tinicum Arts Festival

Wreath by Sue Gray
1. Visit the author's amazing fine art gallery, online or in Massachusetts.
2. Take watercolor lessons at the Mill, the illustrator's home and studio in New Jersey.
3. Craft this wire wrap beach glass wreath and other treasures found on Completely Coastal.
4. Make your own edible sea glass with this rock candy recipe from We're Not Martha, or substitute 3/4 cup of water with corn syrup and pour into a sprayed foil-lined pan to make a sheet of hard candy.
5. Spring is a lovely time to visit your favorite oceanside retreat. It's nothing like summertime, but every bit as magical.
6. Here are 30 more ways to put some poetry into your day.
7. Enjoy these other books from Richard Michelson, Doris Ettlinger, and Sleeping Bear Press.

By Catherine Stier and Doris Ettlinger
By Carol Antoinette Peacock and Doris Ettlinger
By R. Michelson and Ron Mazellan
By Richard Michelson and E. B. Lewis

By Eileen Cameron and Doris Ettlinger
by Jerry Pallotta and Tom Leonard
Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday for May 9, 2014 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's excellent blog.


  1. Joanne, I can't wait to read this. I love the beach and sea. My family used to live in an old lighthouse (Rawley Point Lighthouse) in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. We had a round living room and my folks had a round bedroom. It was in the middle of a state park and miles of beach running north and south.

    1. Wow. It sounds like you've got the perfect material for a few picture books! Thanks for your comments.

  2. Makes me want to get to the ocean, bad. Being landlocked is horrid, despite the mountains.

    1. I wasn't much of a beach person until I moved to the Gulf. Now if I don't get my Jersey Shore fix, I'm mopey.

  3. Just thinking about the beach made me smile. It is a magical place, isn't it? This sounds like an interesting book, using the alphabet format but obviously for older readers as a collection of poems.

    1. It is a lovely book, and I think the poems taken individually would spark interesting lesson plans. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. I would love to find some sea glass. Sweet book.

    1. I've never found any myself, but we made jewelry out of some glass we purchased. It was fun and beautiful.

  5. What's not to love here?! Beaches and alphabet books are the sweetest things ever! Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Have you ever played in the surf? I suspect you would like it very much.

  6. Joanne, this is a lovely book pick! I will have to check this out one, since I'm in the Alphabet book phase, thanks to my 3-year old!

    1. What blessed children you have. Happy Mother's Day!

  7. I would love to read this book! Like Julie RZ, I'm feeling a little land-locked these days.

    1. Then it should lift your spirits! Thanks so much for stopping by.

  8. I was on vacation at Siesta Key and tried to respond to your lovely review, but it wouldn't accept me from my iPad. This really is a lovely pick and I love the idea of an alphabet book about the beach.

    1. Siesta Key? I hope it was wonderful. And it sounds like we both had sea spray on our minds. Thanks.


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