OCEAN DEEP by Yan Nascimbene


Age Range: 7 - 11
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A child’s feelings of loneliness and isolation are eventually replaced with a longing for adventure in a mysterious book from Nascimbene (A Day in September, 1995, not reviewed). Sent to a boarding school in the Swiss Alps for the summer while her parents are vacationing, L£cia, homesick for S—o Paulo and family, remains detached from all activities until the day she hears distant hammering emanating from a local barn. Intrigued, L£cia discovers a kind farmer named Aldo behind the sound; he is keeping a secret from the outside world. Befriending the girl after she pours out her heart to him, Aldo decides to show her the large sailboat he has been building. L£cia, who renames all the wildflowers she finds according to her wishes, finds a wildflower she calls Ocean Deep and sends it to her parents, foreshadowing the dream she is to have later aboard Aldo’s boat; in this dream she sails close enough to her shipbound parents to wave at them. The beautifully conceived illustrations have a range of appearances, from the look of cut-paper silhouettes whose spaces have been washed in watercolor, to landscapes and seascapes with perspectives and of a simplicity of line associated with Japanese art. The typeface, though attractive, is a small size that makes this better for read-aloud sessions than reading alone; the story, long for a picture book, but deeply felt, is ripe for the interpretation of children. (Picture book. 7-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 1-56846-161-5
Page count: 40pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1999