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The Sea in Me

Written by Cody Simpson with Jess Black, illustrated by Amandine Thomas

Reviewed by Margarite Igras

Cody Simpson, Australian swimmer, singer-songwriter, and actor has now added author to his list of achievements. Throughout his varied career, he has always maintained his love of the sea, either as an environmentalist, refuge from his hectic world, and even in the titles of his albums and songs – Surfers Paradise, Surfboard, Children of the Ocean.  Together with the bright and detailed illustrations by award winning, Melbourne based, Amandine Thomas, we are given an insight into the benefits offered by the sea – the calmness, beauty, and abundance of amazing creatures, and whereTime slows down.
A boy (Cody) narrates the story. It is a hot, summer day, and the beach is so crowded that our towels are touching.  The sand is hot, rows of beach tents block the breeze, the seagulls are grumpy, there is loud music, and noisy people. The noise closes in on me…so I make a break for it and dive off the jetty and into the sea. Here it is cool, a kaleidoscope of sparkling blues and greens and a time to pause, relax and only hear my heartbeat, slow and steady.
There are one to two sentences on each page, but the additional scattering of onomatopoeia, such as Boom! Doof! Caw! Splash, Splosh, Trickle, and Lub, Dub give some depth to the text and some fun for the reader. The illustrator has used her luminous watercolour palette to create a powerful visual narrative with an abundance of details to explore, such as the symbolism of the red flyaway towel that escapes to the ocean, on the last page.
A generous book sharing the author’s experiences and empowering children ages 4-8 to look below the waves at the beauty and benefits of the marine world.
Penguin 2024
1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680

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