THE SEA CHEST by Toni Buzzeo

THE SEA CHEST

by illustrated by &
Age Range: 5 - 9
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A contemporary family adoption story and a 19th-century legend are braided together into a tale of extraordinary tenderness and remembered longing. A child sits with her great-aunt Maita, waiting. Aunt Maita grew up on a Maine island where her father was lighthouse keeper. She was taught by her mother, and longed for company. One stormy night, they spot a ship but can do nothing more than keep the light tower lit. When she and her father go down to the shore in the morning, they find a bundle wrapped in eiderdown quilts and tied with sailor’s knots. Within it is a sea chest, with a tiny baby inside with a note from its parents, commending the child into God’s hands. They name her Seaborne, and Maita shares her island treasures such as double-yolk eggs and ripening pumpkins, and teaches her to read. Seaborne is the contemporary child’s great-grandmother, recently passed away, and the chest sits awaiting the new baby girl to be adopted by the narrator’s parents. In her debut for children, Buzzeo uses heightened language with great clarity and emotional precision, and it is elegantly matched by GrandPré’s (Aunt Claire’s Yellow Beehive Hair, 2001, etc.) oil paintings. Her palette partakes of the gold wash of memory and the cherished lavender shadows of home at nightfall. She uses light splendidly: light on the water, light on the island flowers, lamplight on the two girls reading. Altogether a lovely effort. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-8037-2703-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2002




MORE BY TONI BUZZEO

ChildrenA PASSION FOR ELEPHANTS by Toni Buzzeo
by Toni Buzzeo
ChildrenWHOSE TRUCK? by Toni Buzzeo
by Toni Buzzeo
ChildrenWHOSE TOOLS? by Toni Buzzeo
by Toni Buzzeo

MORE BY MARY GRANDPRÉ

ChildrenCLEONARDO, THE LITTLE INVENTOR by Mary GrandPré
by Mary GrandPré

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE LITTLE TREE by Muon Van
by Muon Van