In this picture book translated from the Spanish, a young girl interacts with the music made by the ocean next to her seaside village.
Marina, a young white girl, lives in Lemonsea, a tiny fishing village. When a storm destroys the crops and drives the fish away, everyone but Marina and her white fisherman father, Daniel, leaves to find their living elsewhere. Marina is sad until her father builds a sea organ that is played by the ocean’s tides and currents and the wind. Attracted by the music, whales arrive, and Marina befriends them, even rides them. Eventually the music attracts fish in such abundance that the villagers return, and Lemonsea becomes more prosperous than before. Isern’s lyrical narrative waxes poetic about the sea, whales, and the contentment found in a life close to nature, and Chicote’s illustrations, with their dreamlike quality, enhance the narrative. There’s one off-key note, however, that undermines the harmony-in-nature theme. Chicote includes fanciful characters who have the heads of fish and bodies of humans (they’re not mentioned in the text) interacting in the village alongside regular humans (all white), and readers might wonder who the fish-people are and how they feel about the fishing industry.
Lovely, lyrical text combines skillfully with dreamlike illustrations to create soothing music—with just one off-key note. (Picture book. 4-8)