Book review: The Specific Ocean, by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Katty Maurey

Maclear, Kyo. The Specific Ocean. Illustrated by Katty Maurey. Kids Can Press, Ltd., 2015. Unp. $17.99. ISBN 9781894786355. Ages 4-3rd grade. P7Q8.

Maclear Specific OceanA girl reluctantly joins her family on a vacation to a beach house on the Pacific Ocean. After some urging on the part of her mother, she ventures into the water, and instantly forms a strong connection. What began as a childhood malapropism, becomes our girl’s secret wish—to bring the Ocean home in a glass to be hers, her Specific Ocean. In the story, we learn the importance of the oceans as they relate to our human world, their own varied ecosystems, and even as a mirror for the moon. At the end of her vacation, our protagonist realizes that as much as she loves her Specific Ocean, she must enjoy it carefully so it can continue to support abundant diversity. In Katty Maurey’s illustrations, we see the ocean through the eyes of a child. Her simple paintings fill the pages with blues, black, and pastels. This book is a personal celebration of a child embracing an unknown and gaining perspective.

October 2015 review by Lillian Curanzy.

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