A First Book of the Sea
Walker Books, 2018
104pp., hbk., RRP $A29.99
With evocative blank verse poems and stunning watercolour illustrations, Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton take the young reader on an amazing journey to the sea, under it and beyond it in this new anthology that is the third and final in the series. Beginning with First to See the Sea the reader is immediately engaged because who has not wanted to be the first to see that elusive glimpse of blue as the coast draws nearer and the air sharpens?
Encapsulating the most common experiences of the ordinary beach-goer in short poems – paddling, building sandcastles, catching waves, fishing, gathering pebbles, being mesmerised by the lighthouse flashing its warnings- the net is cast wider and wider and explores the creatures beneath the endless waves and in the ocean’s depths from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Those for whom the sea is home, for whom it is their livelihood or an adventure to be conquered, all are featured in words that are as informative as they are picturesque. And the stunning fold-out of the humpback whale with instructions for singing a whale song is just superb.
If you buy just one poetry anthology this year, this should be it – there is a poem for every day to spark the imagination and the wonderment of the magic that covers more than two-thirds of this planet. As one born and raised by the ocean and a dream to return, this is one book that is staying in my personal collection.