Does a Sea Cow Say Moo? by Terry Webb Harshman and George McClements
|Does a Sea Cow Say Moo? by Terry Webb Harshman and George McClements|
|Genre: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Magda Healey|
|Summary: This picture book combines exuberant graphics, good play on words and an underwater educational angle with an occasionally clunky rhyme and a sketch of a plot to hold it all together. Good idea, although not brilliantly executed, it can work if read aloud by a skilled adult. Better borrowed than bought.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: June 2008|
|Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC|
Does a Sea Cow Say Moo? combines exuberant graphics, good play on words and an underwater educational angle with a clunky rhyme and a sketch of a plot to hold it all together.
When an alien called Flash lands on Earth he's mightily confused by the words with multiple meanings - especially the ones that concern sea creatures and habitat! Luckily he makes friends with Jack who soon clears the confusion.
Cow in the sea. Cow in the field. Does a sea cow say Moo, and eat grass for its meal? Does a Sea Cow Say Moo? - Oh, that can't be true! It chirps and it clicks and it whistles instead, and grazes on sea grass in shallow sea beds.
And so it continues, through schools of fish and oyster beds, a fish-vocab galore, complemented by modern, colourful, bold and humorous artwork and a lot of extra information about the underwater habitat. The information is woven into the framework fictional situation (i.e. the dialogue between Flash and Jack), and the whole thing is told in rhyme.
The quality of the verse varies: sometimes it scans really well, with a rhythm and humour reminiscent of Dr Seuss, but at other times it becomes distinctly clunky. I have read it myself and struggled in those places, then I have heard it read aloud by a better performer and it worked - just.
Altogether, the idea of Does a Sea Cow Say Moo? is better than the execution, but it's still a fun book to browse or read through and although it wouldn't be my first choice for buying, it's certainly worth borrowing for the oldest preschoolers and young primary school aged children. Even if they can read, it really demands reading aloud - and filling them in on the double (or triple) meanings of the words.
The review copy was sent to the Bookbag by the publisher - thank you!
If you like the sound of this you might like to look at Billy Monster's Daymare by Alan Durant and Ross Collins for more unusual use of words.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.