Title: My Life With the Wave
Based on the Story by: Octavio Paz
Translated and Adapted by: Catherine Cowan
Illustrated by: Mark Buehner
Publisher and Year: Lothrop, Lee, & Shepard Books (1997)
Number of pages: 30
Descriptive Annotation: In My Life with the Wave the unnamed protagonist visits the ocean with his family. At the ocean the boy makes friends with a wave. The boy decides to bring the wave home with him on the train. The wave comes to live with the boy. At first everything goes well, the wave and the boy play together and the wave is happy. But as the year goes on and winter comes the wave gets sad, and begins to grow cold and angry- upsetting life at home. Eventually the wave grows stormy and angry and brings sea monsters into the house. The boy’s mother decides the wave must go back to the ocean. The wave became so sad that it turned into ice. The boy and his father take the wave back to the ocean. In the final scene from the book the boy looks out the window and decides that a cloud would make a better friend.
Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This book uses fairly complex words for a picture book. This book is very descriptive and uses wonderful, descriptive words that really make the wave come alive. Culturally everyone pictured in this book is white and the family in the book is middle class.
Interdisciplinary Connections: This book would pair well with a science unit abut the seasons. The wave in the book takes on different moods depending on the season. Students could discuss what the ocean is like during different seasons and discuss how different aspects of nature change with the weather.
Other Information: I loved this book. It was one of the more creative children’s books I have read. I think many students would be completely fascinated by the surreal aspect of bringing a wave home as a sort of pet. Additionally, the language in this book is wonderful and vivid. I would love to use this in a literature class as an example of descriptive language, a creative narrative, or as stimulation for a readers’ response.