Winner of CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal
Winner of the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award
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.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.
Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
A quiet book that will stay with readers long after they have closed it.
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.
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 story ebbs and flows like the sea itself . . . one of the best illustrated books of the year . . .
This quietly devastating book … stirs timeless, elemental emotions.
This is a moving story, and a fine example of text and pictures in perfect harmony.