Tag Archives: ocean

348F: Sam and the Seashore


Looking for a children's picture book written in the 1980s, possibly late 70s or early 90s. The book we had was hard-backed, medium sized average children's book. NOT a toddler or baby book. Illustrations were colorful, and detailed. Almost resembled Where's Waldo but not quite as intense. Images included illustrations of beach animals, shells and sand. and I remember beach trash was involved as well. The main character was a bald or short haired white boy. He might of had a dog. I am almost positive that the boy's name was Sam, Sammy or Samuel. I also remember that he doesn't like the beach at first, and at some point in the plot, he has a problem with an octopus. That's all I can remember. Both my sisters and I vividly remember this book, but cannot find it anywhere. We thought it was called something to the effect of "Sam and the Seashore" but a google search yields absolutely no results. It's been driving us nuts! Please help!

347Q: The World of Fairies – Story Collection

There is a book from my childhood that was lost when our basement flooded, and while my parents remember it vaguely they don’t have any idea the title or author. Here’s everything I can remember about it — sorry this is quite long!

It was a collection of fairy stories (not fairy tales), and I believe the name had something to do with that fact. A large-format book, almost coffee-table-sized, with gorgeous detailed watercolor illustrations on almost every page. I was born in 1998, and while I’m not sure when we acquired the book, it had to have been before 2008 because I remember reading it when I was quite young.
The book opened with a description of the fairy queen and all of the fairies settling down in a woodland grove for a night full of stories on the full moon. We go around the group of fairies with each of them telling a story, and I think there were pages of transition sometimes between stories, when we would see someone else piping up with a new one. Here are the stories I remember, in no particular order (and some of these that I’ve separated might actually belong to the same story):
  • A parable (possibly within another story?) about an impatient fairy who wants to see a rose bloom before it is ready, so she tears open the petals. The rose is beautiful for a moment, but then its petals fall very soon and it dies, while its more patient and kind sister rose blooms naturally.
  • There is some sort of war between the seasons, and the armies of fairies representing each season come together to fight. I remember particularly the illustration containing all of the winter fairies gathered together, with armor of ice, launching snowballs at their enemies. Much description of each type of fairy– the autumn ones wearing acorn cap helmets, the spring ones clad in flower petals.
  • A fairy from the skies is sent on some sort of quest that involves diving beneath the sea to fetch something– maybe a pearl? She finds all of the underwater fairies very strange and is frightened of them. In the drawings, their faces are very sharp, and I believe they have some fish-like attributes. Even though they are unkind to her at first, eventually she gets what she came for. I think that this story also includes her seeking out each of the seasons, which in this case are personified as beatific humans covered in natural motifs that are relevant to their season.
  • A young fairy who grew up in a bird’s nest, I don’t believe she has wings, and eventually falls from the nest and begins wandering the world. I have forgotten much of this story, but have a vivid memory of the illustration of a will o’ the wisp, drawn as a young, pale boy with a huge shining head. I think the will o’ the wisp at first intends to drown her in the swamp, but she charms him with her storytelling or her singing voice or something similar, and he falls asleep and she leaves in the morning.
  • One about a human girl who believes in fairies, although she’s never seen them. She grows angry and resentful for some reason, and then one day she is outside and sees all of her wickedness grow up around her in a big black wall, illustrated with many little faces making horrible expressions hiding in the wall.
  • I don’t know if this is part of the above story or a separate one, but a human girl who is shrunk down small like a fairy for one day and one night. She learns what a fairy’s life is like, drinks nectar and plays on blades of grass and sleeps in a seedpod. I think there’s a little boat in this one, made of leaves or something.
Anyway, that is pretty much all I can remember. The most striking thing about it was definitely the illustrations, and that all of the stories were completely unique and unlike anything I’ve read since. Let me know if you have any ideas!

345P: YA book where kids get gills cut in their necks and go underwater

A group of kids, maybe a girl and her younger siblings, are surviving on their own. They meet a boy on the beach, who cuts gills into their necks somehow, and they go swim in the ocean and visit a deep and dangerous chasm at one point. Mermaids may or may not be involved. They leave the water in the end. The cover is blue with a picture of them swimming; the art wraps around the front and back, though it was probably a paperback. YA Pre-2000. Eerie feel.

342Q: Vintage Picture Book Featuring the Ocean

Vintage Picture Book (from 50s, 60’s, or 70s), not very thick, stapled, maybe 10 – 12 pages, not a lot of printed text. Watercolor, realistic illustrations

What I remember about the story: A boy spends a lot of time snorkeling, he sees all kinds of fish and turtles, and he finds a shipwreck and a shark shows up (scary) but he escapes and finds a treasure.

I remember the following illustrations:

  1. Sea stars on a sandy ocean floor, the sunlight is shining through the water onto the ocean floor
  2. A sea turtle swims and again the sunlight coming through the water
  3. A two page illustration showing the boy on the left top looking down on the shipwreck, again the light plays through the water

The illustrations were realistic and what stood out was the light portrayed underwater.

 

322G: Ocean Adventures in Octopus Town (Solved)

I want to help my wife find a book that her mom used to read to her. Mom says it was a paperback picture book and the pages had metallic highlights so they sparkled. The cover had the main character on it, a young girl who had long brown hair and eyeglasses and she was surrounded by seaweed.
In the story/poem the girl falls into the ocean and encounters a variety of sea creatures as a result.
Some lines and plot points from my wife and mother-in-law’s memories:
“…and arm in arm we danced way down, until we reached octopus town. And there we saw one hundred more, eight hundred legs, one hundred heads, dancing in their seaweed beds”.
A line toward the end of the story describes something involving a dense school of sardines or mackerel as “bits of silver hit like hail”
In the end, the main character is being chased by a shark and wakes up, falling out of her bed.
Thank you so much!

291X: A voyage aboard a research vessel

The book I am looking for is about the oceans. I read in in the late 1970s. It was written by a man who was participating in an ocean voyage aboard a research vessel. I think he may have been a Canadian, and the book may have been published via McGill University. He described the oceans as having four levels, each level’s current went counter to the level above or below it.

Thanks and good luck. I would love to read this book again.