SEA MAIDENS OF JAPAN by Lili Bell

SEA MAIDENS OF JAPAN

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Two newcomers immerse readers in the centuries-old tradition of the Japanese ama, divers (usually women) who plunge 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 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. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1997
ISBN: 1-57102-095-0
Page count: 32pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1997