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donnaodonnellfigurski.com - WATER BEDS Sleeping in the Ocean
Water Beds
									Sleeping in the Ocean
Water Beds
Sleeping in the Ocean
written by Gail Langer Karwoski
illustrated by Conne McLennan
Sylvan Dell Publishing
ISBN: 0-9764943-1-0
Ages 3-8

Water Beds - Sleeping in the Ocean, written by Gail Langer Karwoski and illustrated by Connie McLennan is a bedtime story. It’s a scientific book filled with information about the sea and how animals sleep in the depths of the ocean. It’s a book that children will love to hear over and over again, and it’s a book that parents will love to read, as they lull their “little person” to sleep on the gentle waves of his dreams.

The ocean is a magical place – an underwater world so unknown to most people that it almost seems surreal. Yes, we play at its shore and we ride upon its waves on surfboards or motorboats. We skim across its blue surface on water skis and even dive below flipping our flippers pretending to be fish. But not many really experience the depths of the ocean – the beauty of the ocean far below the reaches of the sun. It is home to thousands and thousands of species of fish and plant life. Fish with names like Lanternfish, John Dory, and the Clown Anemonefish. Plants called kelp, there are whole forests of kelp, and phytoplankton and algae, which thrive in the oceans and are a crucial source of food for ocean creatures.

The ocean is a wild and peaceful habitat. It can be brutal with waves reaching a deadly force of more than 65 feet and speeds of 500 mph. It can be gentle and calming with its rhythmic ebb and flow as its waves lap against the shore. It can be downright serene if you don a wet suit and oxygen tank and flip off the side of a boat and push your life into the life of the ocean. The child in Water Beds does just that. He pushes his life into that of the ocean and he rocks gently in the tide, like a jug handle . . . just like the Northern fur seals. He bobs like a buoy next to walruses as they snooze in the briny sea. He floats with dolphins and glides next to orcas and yet he never leaves his bed. Then soon he is drifting on the gentle waves of his dreams – oh such sweet, peaceful dreams . . . and he sleeps in his own special way . . . in his own special bed.

NOTE: For full effect this book is best read in a warm, cozy, undulating, waterbed, but if you don’t have easy access to a waterbed – just pretend.

This review can also be seen on: SmartWriters
FROM the MOUTHS of KIDDLE CRITers: a critique group

“This book is about the ocean, the creatures in the ocean, and how they sleep,” said Sarit.

“On the first page there are all kinds of stuffed animals that live in the ocean,” said Becky.

“Did you notice that there is a little person on every page?” asked Anya,

“ . . . in the ocean!” said Becky. “It looks like the kid is really “into” animals that live in the ocean,” she added.

“Maybe the little person will be a scientist, who studies sea creatures, when he grows up,” said Anya.

“The author is showing how the little boy sleeps and how the animals sleep, and so the child is living the life of the animals,” said Pritka.

“I think the boy wanted to sleep in the ocean,” said Nina. “Because I think he wanted peace.”

“I think the ocean is very big,” said Jewel opening her arms wide.

“It’s an amazing place!” said Ethan. “It’s like another world down on the ocean floor.”

“And, it has lots of sea animals,” said Jewel.

“There are about 30,000 different species of fish down there,” said Pritka. (See note at bottom of this review.)

“Like the beluga whale,” said Ethan, “I mean who knew they existed? Well, maybe some people . . . but it might be a new thing for others,” he added.

“And the sea otters!” yelled Philippe. “They wrap themselves in kelp so they can float and walruses sleep in the water, rocking like buoys.”

“Dolphins sleep with one eye open,” said Jane.

“Weird!” said Philippe, “but . . . there are many dangers in the water.”

“I would think it would be very uncomfortable,” said Sarit.

“But, they sleep with one eye open to be safe,” Melia tried to explain.

“Right! And dolphins are very smart creatures,” agreed Ethan. “So, it would be possible for them to be smart enough to look out while they sleep.”

“I think some kids would really be amazed,” said Jake.

“Like whoa…I never knew that that animal slept that way,” said Ethan.

“This book has many facts about sea animals,” said Philippe.

“It’s informational . . . meaning, you can learn from it,” said Ethan.

“Yeah, lots of information,” said Anya, “which is good for research.”

Timmy nodded and said, “It’s a nonfiction book.”

“Water Beds is also a magical book,” said Ethan. “I mean, I can picture myself in my bed dreaming of the briny deep.”

Pritka nodded. “It makes a good bedtime story for little kids,” she said.

“Hmm,” said Jake. You could almost see the wheels cranking in his brain. “And it might make a little kid have good dreams. He may think of the swaying of the ocean and peaceful creatures falling asleep.” Jake’s shoulders started to sway with his words. “Then he might lie down and his parents will think . . . Hmm . . . that was easy!”

Everyone laughed.

“This book’s title really fits the story,” said Sarit. “I always wondered how it would be to sleep under the sea and this book answered all my questions. And, it’s perfect for bedtime.”

“Yeah!” said Ethan with a laugh.” It’s education while you are sleeping . . . at nighttime.”


John Heilprin, author of the article, Global Effort Discovers Many New Fish Species, published in the Washington Times, states that the Census of Marine Life has identified more than 15,000 fish. (http://www.washtimes.com/national/20031023-114700-3286r.htm)

FishBase boasts 29,300 species on their site.

The California Academy of Sciences sites 53,500 species and subspecies of fishes in their studies.



What do you have in common with an Orca Killer Whale, a Blue Blubber Jellyfish, a Giant Squid, or a little goldfish? They all can float and so can you. But, wouldn’t a giant squid or a huge whale sink to the ocean depths? You might think so, but it all boils down to mass – surface mass in the water. While gravity is exerting its force downward, the buoyancy of water is pushing upward. If an object has enough surface area and displaces enough water, it can float. Try this.

1. Fill a large container with water.

2. Select a number of items for testing: paper clip, ping pong ball, crayon, piece of paper,
and any other item that you wish to test.

3. Then make a Prediction Chart. Use the following headings on your chart. Name of Object,
Will Float, Won’t Float. Have the children write the names of their test items in the first
column. Then have them predict which items will float and which will sink. Use a red crayon
for this part of the project.

Name of Object . . . . . Will Float . . . . . Won’t Float
Paper clip . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . x
Ping pong ball . . . . . . . . . . . . x
Piece of paper . . . . . . . . . . . . x

4. When all predictions are made, the children may start testing by dropping objects into the water
and recording their observations on their Prediction Chart. Have them use a green crayon for
this part of the project. Hopefully, the red and the green checks will match. Happy Floating!


Water Beds is filled with information to help buoy up your knowledge of how marine mammals slumber in the deep waters of the ocean. You can use this information to make Riddle Fact Cards. I’ve included sample riddles below, but feel free to make up your own . . . or better yet, let your KIDDLES make their own Marine Mammal KIDDLE Riddles. Then watch your Riddle KIDDLES increase their knowledge of sea mammals while they practice their reading skills.

1. Split the class into two teams.

2. Choose a reader for each team.

3. Have each reader take turns reading/asking a Fact Riddle to the opposite team.

4. Score one point for each correct answer.

I sleep in warm rivers. What Am I? Manatee
I sleep with one eye open to keep me safe. What Am I? Dolphin
I sleep even as I glide through the ocean. What Am I? Orca
I sleep in the current behind my mother. She tows me along. What Am I?
Humpback Whale baby
I sleep with my flippers tucked against my side and hang like a bottle in the water.
What Am I? Harbor Seal
I sleep in a heap on the shore, but when I am in the tide, I curl like a jug handle.
What Am I? Northern Fur Seals
I sleep with my blowhole in the air and I float like a white cloud. What Am I? Beluga Whale
I sleep wrapped in kelp strands. They anchor me in place. What Am I? Sea Otter
I sleep in icy seas. I bob up and down like a buoy in the sea. What Am I? Walrus
I sleep very deep in the ocean – far below danger. What Am I? Elephant Seal

(Although I examined these websites and found them to be very helpful, please use them at your own discretion.)

Temperate Oceans: http://www.mbgnet.net/salt/oceans/index.htm
MIT Sea Grant: Do Dolphins Sleep? http://web.mit.edu/seagrant/edu/res/dolphinsleep/index.html


Ocean Mammals A True Book by Elaine Landau
What’s Inside the Ocean? by Jane Kelly Kosek
Ocean by Samantha Gray
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