SEA MAIDENS OF JAPAN by Lili Bell

SEA MAIDENS OF JAPAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Two newcomers immerse readers in the centuries-old tradition of the Japanese ama, divers--usually women--who dive to the ocean floor to retrieve shellfish, seaweed, and fish. Kiyomi, training to become an ama, is taken by her mother one night to see the sea turtles come in to lay their eggs. Two months later, Kiyomi witnesses the birth of a turtle with a star marking on its back. When the time comes for Kiyomi to make her first dive, fear overtakes her, and she can't force herself into the murky waters. The reappearance of the star-marked turtle gives Kiyomi the courage to dive. Brammer's misty illustrations contribute a dreaminess to this tale that helps make the fairy-tale return of the turtle plausible, while the author's explanation of terms and their pronunciations fill in the gaps for readers unacquainted with Japanese culture and language. A strong adventure about a child's plunge (literally and figuratively) into adult responsibilities.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1997
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Ideals