There are two special celebrations in April: National Week of the Ocean (April 12-18) and Earth Day (April 22). What better way to appreciate these times than through picture books. Following are two that seem most appropriate:
OUT OF THE OCEAN by Debra Frasier. Harcourt Brace. $16.Frasier, well-known for "The Day You Were Born," the book that welcomes each child to our earth, grew up in a house near the Atlantic Ocean. She recalls her childhood when she carried tiny loggerhead turtles to the sea, saving them from predators. In this new book, she relives the times when her mother told her to ask the ocean to bring her something, knowing that "if you look . . . you might find it."
With stunning collage illustrations and detailed photography, "Out of the Ocean" portrays what is found on the beach: coconuts, shark's teeth, shells, feathers and messages curled inside bottles. "But my mother, she keeps asking for things that are too big to carry home..." such as the sun, water, silver moonlight and sea turtle tracks at dawn.
Together mother and daughter go every day to help each other look for those things that can be taken home and those other beauties of the ocean that are indeed too big to carry.
This is in journal format, and in concluding pages the lavish photos provide an explanation of why they are on the beach.
This is truly a celebration of the ocean and anyone who longs for the smells and sound of the seaside will relish this beautiful full-color book.
Frasier has developed a treasure bag to accompany "Out of the Ocean" which contains a personal Ocean Journal.
For more information about National Week of the Ocean write P.O. Box 179, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33302.
ANTHOLOGY FOR THE EARTH, edited by Judy Allen with color illustrations by various artists. Candlewick. $21.99.
Allen has gathered the voices of people from many cultures who from various time frames proclaim the love of the earth and speak in defense of its beauty and fragility.
There is a selection from Albert Schweitzer's "Civilization and Ethics" and "I did not find the world desolate..." reprinted from the Jerusalem Talmud. Folklorist Joseph Bruchac's "Birdfoot's Grampa" and David Attenborough's "The Living Planet" are included. Among other writers are John Steinbeck, Willa Cather, Julian Huxley, John Bierhorst and Rudyard Kipling. John Muir's "The Animals of the Yosemite" is a classic. Allen has also included her own picture book, "Tiger."
The more than 40 poems, stories and declarations are expanded by illustrations from artists such as Patrick Benson, Michael Foreman and Peter Sis.
"Anthology for the Earth" is perfect for Earth Day celebrations.