Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Sea Chest by Toni Buzzeo

The Sea Chest 
by Toni Buzzeo
illustrated by Mary GrandPre
Picture Book

Book Jacket Summary
As they wait for the arrival of a new baby, Maita tells her great-grandniece the story of her remarkable childhood. Living sheltered on a lighthouse island with only her parents for company, Maita always longed for a sibling-longed not to be the only child the ragged island knew. And then one icy night, howling winds blew wave after wave against the shore, and from that fearsome storm came a sea chest-a gift that would change Maita's life forever.

My Thoughts
The pictures that have waves and wind almost seem thick with color. The sea has greens, blues, yellows and white to emphasize the ferocious storm that happens. I did not know that Mary GrandPre was the illustrator for the Harry Potter books! No wonder I was so enamored with the illustrations in this book.
The story is told by an elderly aunt who recounts how she and her father found an infant washed to shore in a sea chest after a storm. They take the child in as their own and name her Seaborne. The ending lends a nice touch when the young girl who is listening to the story mentions that her parents are fetching a child "from so far across the wide Atlantic. To be my sister." Very well done for a parallel story.
The Author's Note tells that this is a fictional account but one based on a story that has been passed down through time. Although there is no notice in the light keeper's log, I would like to think it is true. A type of fairy tale for a childless couple or in this case a lonely child. This a sweet book to read to a child that is expecting an adoptive sibling. The pictures are beautiful and I love the lighthouse setting!    

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