A young boy wakes up to the sound of the sea, visits his grandfather’s grave after lunch and comes home to a simple family dinner with his family, but all the while his mind strays to his father digging for coal deep down under the sea. Stunning illustrations by Sydney Smith, the award-winning illustrator of Sidewalk Flowers, show the striking contrast between a sparkling seaside day and the darkness underground where the miners dig.
With curriculum connections to communities and the history of mining, this beautifully understated and haunting story brings a piece of Canadian history to life. The ever-present ocean and inevitable pattern of life in a Cape Breton mining town will enthrall children and move adult readers.
Sydney Smith's gorgeous, airy illustrations showcase the beauty of childhood in the seaside town. … [Schwartz] perfectly captures the matter-of-fact thinking of a small child.
A quiet book that will stay with readers long after they have closed it.
Town Is by the Sea offers some of the most beautiful paintings of sunshine on water ever painted … a powerful and profound work of art that tweaks our perspective and transcends its subject.
Only rarely in a picture book do words and art interact as potently and intimately as they do in this luminous collaboration.
Exquisitely rendered, it's a subtle day in the life title … This is, in short, a magnificent book.
This is one of the most beautiful picture books you’ll see this year. It’s picture book-making at its very best.
"this story ebbs and flows like the sea itself . . . one of the best illustrated books of the year . . ."
This is a moving story, and a fine example of text and pictures in perfect harmony.
Art and text meld for a powerful glimpse at a way of life that begs inspection. A thoughtful and haunting book that will stay with readers.
This quietly devastating book … stirs timeless, elemental emotions.
Smith’s expressive, evocative spreads contrast the light-soaked landscape above with the night-black mine below … a sensitive way of helping readers understand that, for some, the idea of choosing a career is a luxury.