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MY FATHER'S ARMS ARE A BOAT by Stein Erik Lunde Kirkus Star


by ; illustrated by ; translated by

Age Range: 4 - 18

Pub Date: Feb. 2nd, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-59270-124-7
Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

A young boy, grieving and unable to sleep, climbs into his father’s steady arms to find warmth and reassurance in this luminous story about loss, love and healing.

Snow and silence have fallen. A father sits in a darkened room by the fire. His sleepless son, lovingly bundled up, looks out his room’s black window. He finds his father, who holds him. They begin to talk, about plans for the next day, about the birds they feed and the foxes that hunt. The father calms his boy’s anxious questions with the gentle constant: “Everything will be all right.” The boy asks about his mother, and the two go out into the night. The child wishes on a star and is filled with a profound longing. Back inside, the father holds his son until sleep finally comes. Lunde’s lyrical text and descriptive language is immediate and intimate. Through it he invokes sensory memories of closeness, warmth and refuge. Torseter’s sophisticated artwork brings an even greater emotional depth to the story. Color is used minimally, as the illustrations work in tones. His mixed-media illustrations, done within a 3-D format, like a diorama, have an ethereal quality. They seem grounded in reality, yet they are dreamlike, giving the impression one has been privileged to see someone else’s memory. His final spread soars as a wordless affirmation of hope.

A breathtaking masterpiece. (Picture book. 4 & up)