The world’s diversity is depicted in a series of colorful, geometrical pictures.
The bottom third of each double-page spread shows the same serene blue ocean and a little long-haired child in red overalls staring out at it, facing away from readers. Three white gulls fly overhead as the child wonders, “What is over the ocean?” On progressive pages the child imagines the multiple answers to that question: scores of ships filling the water, big farms and tall city buildings (both in rainbow colors), playfully leaping animals, a town of tightly packed little houses, the faces of children of many races and ethnicities, and then those children frolicking on a variety of fair attractions. “Is there night over the ocean?” the child muses, as the dark sky over the water fills with stars in curlicue patterns. The narrator then imagines a night-lit city made entirely of ice, a beach on the opposite side of the ocean that mirrors the one readers see, then a parallel someone standing next to a rainbow and also staring at the ocean…or staring back at the narrator? In the final picture, the child still stares at the ocean while a second, almost identical child (clad in green overalls) sails high into the sky inside the basket of a big striped balloon. The narrating child never moves, but the image is saved from stasis by both the changing view and the child’s long, wind-swept dark hair blowing to the side.
With sharp shapes and a riot of color, the prolific Gomi’s simple premise should spark young imaginations. (Picture book. 3-6)