Sea monsters by Sharon J. Yaxley

cover image

Forty South Publishing, 2019. ISBN: 9780648168881.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Seashore, Tide pools, Seaweed. A magnificent book of photos from the seashore is given extra life by the inclusion of  poetic lines giving the hint about what we are seeing. Not seaweed but monsters with eyes and tusks and jagged teeth, whispering tales from the deep.
The monsters were torn from beneath the ocean and tossed and torn upon the waves, then left on the sand along the beach where their shapes became monsters.
Children will thrill recognising the flotsam they see upon the beach, viewed with different eyes, becoming tails and fins and eyes and tusks, lying in wait for those who venture there, telling stories of what has happened to them, waiting for the next high tide to bring them back on the shore to tell even more stories.
Copious teacher notes are available at the author's website but I would prefer to let the kids take charge and be wowed by the images and how these images could be seen as monsters. I think a class could make wonderful use of this book, sharing experiences by the sea, imagining the monsters seen on the shore, perhaps visiting the beach for themselves to see what they can find. The pictures are simply stunning, taking the reader's breath away as they pour over each page, remembering the feel of the sand, the rubbery texture of the seaweed, the coldness of the water.
Fran Knight