Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

What the sea Left Behind

What the sea Left Behind

Mimi Gregoire Carpenter
Picture Book
For ages 7 and up
Down East Books, 1981   ISBN: 978-0892721238

When the weather is fine Tessa and her artist mother go down to the beach to explore and collect treasures. As Tessa tells us, at first you may not realize that there are treasures to be found. You have to stop looking at the big picture and start looking at the small things, the shells and stones, the little crabs and seaweeds. Tessa take us with her as she explores the boundaries of the land and ocean. There are the shells of razor clams and sea urchins. Tessa tells us little details about the small animals that get washed up on the shore, how they got there and how they connect with the larger world of the ocean and the beach. One of the joys of finding these small treasures is being able to draw and paint them on the days when she doesn’t go exploring.

With musical prose and beautiful illustrations, the author has created an extraordinary book. For a parent or a teacher Mimi Gregoire Carpenter’s "What the sea Left Behind" is a wonderful tool to show children how there are big worlds and little ones; how the smaller creatures and plants have their own sort of beauty, and how you often need to change the way you look at things to appreciate them fully.