“Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea”

It all started with “Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea.”

While serving in an elementary school as a Washington Reading Corps volunteer (an AmeriCorps program), part of my job was sorting book donations. Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea with Valeria Petrone’s charming illustrations caught my attention, and I opened the cover to see more. As I read Jan Peck’s rhyming text, its clear rhythm startled me. “That’s a song!” I said out loud to nobody in the room.

Way Down Deep sat on my desk, gradually mixing into the clutter of other papers and books. But everytime I organized and uncovered the picture book with its bright cover, I would hear music. So I took Way Down Deep home where … it melted into a pile of other papers and books. Still, everytime it surfaced I would hear music. Finally I followed the lure of the music to the piano where I composed my first children’s song.

Then I went to the library to look for more picture books in verse!

“Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea”
(This is my homegrown version as I sent it to Jan Peck.)

Cover image of Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea