Academic journal article Language Arts

Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas

Academic journal article Language Arts

Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas

Article excerpt

Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas Written by Lynne Cox Illustrated by Brian Floca Schwartz & Wade, 2014, unpaged, ISBN 978-0-37585888-8

This sweet book is about an elephant seal that seemed to consider the Avon River in Christchurch, New Zealand, her home. It is perfectly illustrated with unassuming, yet emotionally impactful watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations that harken back to a pre-digital era. In a charmingly subdued palette of predominantly green, blue, orange, and gray tones, Floca expertly captures the warm, personal aspect of this story, told from the perspective of a boy named Michael and the townspeople who embraced the seal's presence in their community. Soft circular images with diffuse edges are juxtaposed with narrative text rendered in a traditional serif font and with more extensive illustrations that fill pages and cross the gutter at important plot points.

Close-ups rich with expression, such as when Elizabeth returns after her third removal and pops out of the water near an elated Michael, and action, such as when Elizabeth is almost run over by a car, are interspersed with tranquil riverbank scenes. …

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