THE DAY OCEAN CAME TO VISIT by Diane Wolkstein

THE DAY OCEAN CAME TO VISIT

Age Range: 6 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Wolkstein (Glass Mountain, 1999, etc.) elaborates on Elphinstone Dayrell’s terse rendition of the West African “Why the Sun and Moon Live in the Sky,” by giving Moon a larger, more active part. When in his wanderings Sun meets Ocean, Sun’s wife, Moon, suggests that he invite her to visit—but despite precautions, Sun and Moon are driven out of their home and into the sky by Ocean’s huge, teeming presence. In the best-known modern version of the tale, Blair Lent’s Caldecott Honor–winning pictures (1968) depict the figures as tribespeople wearing stylized masks and placed into sparely detailed settings. Here the shining spheres of Sun and Moon actually sit atop graceful bodies clad in long, simple robes, Ocean flows into their bamboo dwelling over peaceful, carefully kept gardens, and multiple layers of thinly applied oil paint add richly modulated light and color to every illustration. The paintings have been laid over a clay base that mimics a sandy beach with bits of shell pressed into it, a lovely background for the theme. While this is not a radical re-envisioning, the dusty tale has been given a fresh, elegant, new dress. (Picture book/folktale. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-15-201774-7
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Gulliver/Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2001




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