If I Lived in the Ocean
by Amy L. Kaiser 
Trafford Publishing

"If I lived in the ocean I could be a dolphin that jumps and flips out of the water. I would eat fish and swim with my dolphin family."

If I Lived in the Ocean contemplates the precise notion expressed in its title: what if? It explores this question in a series of briefly described, illustrated scenes that feature one of four sea creatures in their natural environments—the dolphin, the sea turtle, the octopus, and the great white shark. Each of these fantasies is countered by images of children at play, which are then punctuated by open-ended questions designed to initiate conversation and stimulate the imagination.

The book is fairly brief. At only eight pages, it does not delve deeply into the subject of the ocean with any real scientific data. However, the book does not seem to be intended for instruction. The four featured animals and their habitats are only casually described. The language and sentence structure mirrors that of a child in their innocence and simplicity, which sets a familiar tone that is sure to encourage young children to express their own undersea musings. This is where the book is most successful: in its ability to prompt participation from the reader or listener by promoting further thought and exploration. The colorful illustrations are eye-catching and very well composed. There were some minor editorial details that were overlooked—the spelling off the word tentacles, slips in verb tense—however these did not deetract from the overall appeal of the book, which succeeds in its purpose of stirring the imagination and promoting interactive reading.

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