Commotion in the Ocean Author: Giles Andreae Illustrator: David Wojtowycz
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Publication Date: March 2011

BISAC: JUV002170

Pages: 26

Book Format Detail: Board Book with Embossed and Spot Varnish Cover

Retail Price: $9.95

ISBN-13: 9781589258631

ISBN-10: 1-58925-863-0

Dimensions: 7-3/4" x 9-7/8"

Publication Date: March 2001

BISAC: JUV002170, JUV002100, JUV057000

Pages: 32

Book Format Detail: Hardcover

Retail Price: $16.95

ISBN-13: 978-1-58925-000-0

ISBN-10: 1-58925-000-1

Dimensions: 9-3/4" x 12-1/4"

Publication Date: March 2002

BISAC: JUV002170, JUV002100, JUV057000

Pages: 32

Book Format Detail: Paperback

Retail Price: $7.95

ISBN-13: 978-1-58925-366-7

ISBN-10: 1-58925-366-3

Dimensions: 9-1/2" x 12"

"In [these] humorous poems…such ocean dwellers as the stingray, barnacles, and walruses introduce themselves. Jewel-toned cartoon illustrations add visual splash." - Publishers Weekly 

Lexile: AD850

Accelerated Reader: 48271

Reading Counts: Q18771

The round glass of a submarine porthole provides a window through which the animals of the ocean can be spied upon in all their “commotion” Crab, turtle, dolphin, jellyfish, shark, and more come under the scrutiny of Andreae, who gives each one a rhyming stanza or limerick that is often sing-song. Attributes of each creature – a shark’s big mouth, a dolphin’s sounds, a swordfish’s skewer – provide the subject matter, but the treatment is humorous, not scientific. The arms of the mother octopus enable her to tickle all of her children on their stomachs simultaneously; a crab’s sideways movements turn him into a sneaky spy. The illustrations further anthropomorphize the undersea creatures, giving each one curly eyelashes and smiling faces. The only innovation here is a poem about barnacles written in tiny type on the underside of a blue whale, as if the words themselves are clinging to the giant. 


July 15, 1998, Kirkus Reviews

A delightful collection of short poems about the creatures that live under the ocean or near it. Young children will find these poems easy to learn and repeat them over and over again; plus they will also get a lesson on the animals. The large, brightly colored illustrations give added character and whimsy to the poems and will help even the youngest child to understand what the poems are about.

Certainly a very worthwhile addition to any library or classroom. -Sara Easter


November 1998, Top of Texas Literature Review Center

In the humorous original poems of Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae, illus. by David Wojtowycz, such ocean dwellers as the stingray, barnacles, and walruses introduce themselves. Jewel-toned cartoon illustrations add visual splash. 


August 24, 1998, Publishers Weekly

Continuing the poetic pattern of their collaboration Rumble in the Jungle, Andreae and Wojtowycz shift their setting from the jungle to the ocean in another collection of poems for young children, ages 3-7. The longer title poem introduces the young reader or listener to some of the marine animals met in the book. 


 With the exception of three poems, each page has a four - five line simple verse about one animal that has a connection to the sea. The accuracy of the rhymes varies, with the description of the species being secondary to making the poem work. Also, some of the vocabulary is too advanced for the intended age group so explanations may be necessary, especially for the curious youngster who wonders just what the swordfish is up to when he skewers a few fish.


 Brightly colored, page-filling illustrations enhance the child appeal of the book. As with the poems, appeal takes precedence over accuracy in portraying the marine creatures. However, preschoolers will enjoy seeing bright green, rosy-cheeked turtles with long eyelashes and a purple-spotted pink octopus mother hugging her children. The shark’s large teeth give the creature an appropriately ferocious look as it chases frightened starfish off the page.


 The simplicity of the rhymes may encourage primary grade students who are just beginning to write their own poetry. in Great Britain, the book is a slight, somewhat humorous entry with cheerful, bold illustrations which contribute to its appeal to children. —Janis Ansell


September 1998, ForeWord Magazine