PPBF: Out Of The Ocean

Today I'm excited that the teaser post for my keynote - Kindness is the real global warming! - is now posted at the Character Education Partnership's site {here}. I'm also delighted to share this beautiful PPBF with you.

Title: Out of the Ocean
Author/Illustrator: Debra Frasier
Publisher: Harcourt Brace & Company
 Date: 1998
Suitable for: ages 4-8
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Themes: nature, hidden treasures, gratitude
Brief synopsis: This beautiful tribute to the gift of the water challenges its reader to discover things to treasure, both tangible and much more abstract. Journey along the shore as mother and child help each other look.
Opening page: My mother says you can ask the ocean to bring you something. If you look, she says, you might find it.

Resources:  Visit the author's page {here}.
Find an Inspiring Ideas lesson plan from Loving2Learn {here}.
Read a review at Connecting Family & Seoul {here}.
After a read-aloud, discuss with your readers what they think
the author means by this:

What natural treasure is so big that they might forget to see it?

Why I like this book: For me, there's a personal connection that's so very close to my heart. My mentor and friend, Sally, used to savor her time at the shore, and, as a result, I have these amazing treasures and the notes that she'd leave when she'd sneak by with her surprise. Ms. Frasier's book brings Sally back, 
if only for a bit.

"It's not the asking. It's the remembering to look."
Sally knew what to look for, on the beach, and in people.
She saw the gift in everybody and everything.
And she was grateful. Always grateful.
This gem has become a personal favorite, 
because of that connection to Sally and her heartbeat.

It's also filled with possibilities for extension. Three ideas:

Sometimes what the ocean has to offer isn't worth treasuring. My daughter helped with a creek clean-up last year and they got 1427 pounds of trash, including 62 pounds of recycling from Waller Creek. Yuck! If you're near a body of water, this book could easily springboard a clean-up effort.

This story pairs a mom and her child on a special daily outing to the beach. Have your students talk about, write about, or draw a special outing that they've had with one of their parents or caregivers. Where are they? What are they doing? How does it smell? What temperature is it outside? What season are they in?  What are they wearing? What colors do they see? What is so special about the memories they making?

You could also use it to show how kindness and/or peace ripple out. Ask students to bring in a river rock, maybe something they've found at the shore. Clean the rocks up and let students write a character value on one side (kindness, gratitude, generosity, charity, love) and draw a peace symbol on the other. Bring a big bowl or a bucket and fill it with water. One by one, students can drop their character rocks into the water and watch how their messages of kindness and peace make a splash and ripple out.

Click {here} for some of my other ideas for Character Rocks. Then head to Susanna's blog to read today's other PPBF picks.


  1. How amazing to come up with something so creative: global warming = kindness.That's such a brilliant idea and a positive spin. Only kindness and a compassionate heart will heal the world. I was so moved by the story you shared about your friend. And, your book choice and activities are perfect.

    I read you keynote and it is truly inspiring. I certainly would enjoy spending a day in your world. Your students must really love coming to school.

    1. Thank you, Pat, for your kind affirmations. It always makes my day when you stop by! Oh how I wish you could be in DC with me on Halloween.

  2. This sounds like a very thought-provoking book, one that deals with this issue in a mindful, less didactic way. Lovely! Thanks for highlighting!

    1. I think that you'll love this book ... it's not really at all about what's not supposed to be in the ocean that is as much as it's about remembering to look for those natural treasures that belong to the water. Does that make sense?

  3. The illustrations draw me in right away. I'll have to explore the book in more detail. Thanks.

    1. Yes, Joanne, I didn't talk about the illustrations but they're kind of a mix of real photographs and drawings. Very effective! Thank you for stopping by the Corner today!

  4. Wow! Being a person who lives surrounded by the ocean we do tend to take it for granted. Your choice of PPBF cleverly helps us look a little closer. Your connection with your friend was very moving and I also enjoyed your Keynote, very much. Thank you.

    1. Thank you kindly, for your reflection and your sweet words. You are blessed to live surrounded by the ocean!

  5. I guess we think alike in a lot of ways!! This looks like a lovely book with a lovely message. And as always, you have provided some unique activities to go with it! Thanks Ms Gruener!

  6. What a lovely-sounding book, Barbara, and how nice that it is able to make you feel close to Sally. Thank you so much for sharing it with us, and for all the wonderful activities!

  7. Looking forward to reading this one. (And loves the picture of your treasures from Sally.)

  8. Love the character rock activity. Thanks for adding this to the list.


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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