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The Sea Serpent and Me by Dashka Slater
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The Sea Serpent and Me

by Dashka Slater

Other authors: Catia Chien (Illustrator)

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The Sea Serpent and Me by Dashka Slater is is about a little girl and a baby sea serpent. Sometimes you're suddenly needed, as she learns when the serpent drips out of the tap and into her bath. She decides to keep it, first because it's a baby and later because it's a cute pet. But wild animals &emdash; even serpents, need to be in the wild.

Slater's book reminds me of two other books about children and unusual animals &emdash; Bog Baby by Jean Willis and Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell. The Sea Serpent and Me and Bog Baby both pose the problem of the magical baby animal who can't survive in captivity.

Clifford and the Sea Serpent share their large size and rapid growth, except that Clifford, as a dog, is a pet from the very get go. Thus the lesson with Clifford is the importance of adjusting to the needs of the pet (moving to the countryside to a house with a giant sized dog house). Here, though, the serpent is wild and needs to be released before it's too late.

My daughter and I read the book together. Rather, she read, and I listened. We were both reminded of the early weeks of caring for Tortuga, the stray kitten I brought home because she was too young for the local animal shelter. Originally we had planned to foster Tortuga until she was old enough to be adopted. We had seen her more as a a bog baby or sea serpent but she quickly became part of our family and became a Clifford. ( )
  pussreboots | May 29, 2014 |
Marvelous. ( )
  tercat | Feb 6, 2014 |
"On Tuesday, as I was about to climb into the bath, a sea serpent dropped out of the faucet and into the tub," begins this magically matter-of-fact story which, when paired with Catia Chien's charming watercolor artwork, makes for a delightful picture-book that deserves to be better known. Dashka Slater demonstrates considerable skill in crafting her narrative, with hardly a word out of place in a brief text that still manages to evoke the strong sense of love that develops between girl and creature, and the conflicting desires of both: for freedom, for safety, for friendship, for solitary wandering in the vastness of the deep ocean. The conclusion, in which the two have essentially swapped emotional roles - now it's the sea serpent who is clinging to the girl, rather than the other way around - has real pathos, while also offering a natural and satisfying resolution.

The illustrations perfectly capture the dreamy quality of the story, and the changeable nature of its two characters' feelings. Whether it be the girl's realization of the sea serpent's eventual size - "Oh," I said. That big." - paired with a depiction of the sea serpent towering over some houses, or their bittersweet goodbye, in which the girl reaches up to touch her now humongous friend, the visual and textual narratives work together in The Sea Serpent and Me, making it an excellent example of true picture-book craft. Very, very well-done! I will definitely be looking for more of Ms. Slater's work! ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 13, 2013 |
Title: The Sea Serpent and Me
Author: Dashka Slater (illiustrated by Catia Chien)
Genre: Children’s
Challenges: PB & J Challenge, 101 Books in 1001 Days Challenge, A to Z Reading Challenge, 2009 Support Your Local Library, 20 Books in 2009, Read Your Name Challenge 2009, Pages Read Challenge, Young Reader's Challenge 2009, Read a Book a Month Challenge, Summer Vacation Reading Challenge 2009

Rating: 4/5
No. of Pages: 40
Published: 2008
From the inside cover: When a tiny sea serpent tumbles from the bathtub faucet, a little girl finds an unexpected friend. As rainy day after rainy day passes, the two sing songs, take baths, and talk about the sea.
But little girls live on land, and a growing sea serpent needs wave upon wave of water.
Here’s a story about the true meaning of friendship, erfect for children, patrents, and anone one who has ever had a second thought about growing up.

Mine: A wonderfully illustrated book that talks about the true meaning of friendship between a girl and a sea serpent. The sea serpent needs the water and the little girl love to be sung to sleep at night.

The rainy keeps the little girl from returning the sea searpent to the sea, but finally she knows she must take him to his real home, before he grows too big.



( )
  suefitz1 | Apr 3, 2013 |
Another one I reviewed for the collection and really enjoyed. A beautiful story about growing up and letting go. Nominated for the Maine Chickadee Award 2009-2010 ( )
  scote23 | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dashka Slaterprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chien, CatiaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618723943, Hardcover)

When a tiny sea serpent tumbles from the bathtub faucet, a little girl finds an unexpected friend. As rainy day after rainy day passes, the two sing songs, take baths, and talk about the sea.
But little girls live on land, and a growing sea serpent needs wave upon wave of water.
Here’s a story about the true meaning of friendship, perfect for children, parents, and anyone who has ever had second thoughts about growing up.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:20 -0400)

One day a small sea serpent falls from the faucet into the tub as a child is about to take a bath, and as the days go by and the serpent grows, they both realize that he needs to go back to the sea where he belongs.

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