Art, Books, Current Events, Reviews

Picture Book Review: Old Man of the Sea

Today’s feature: review of the picture book titled Old Man of the Sea, a charming children’s book that will endear you to it.

January 22nd is celebrated as the Celebration of Life Day. While this was originally intended to celebrate the children and grandchildren in our lives, it has since evolved to celebrate life at any age! And I also believe, like with Hugs and Reading and so many other days, this is just about everyday!

As for the origins of this celebration, it is simply unknown.. But that should not matter and the date should not matter too, for we do need to celebrate life every day! And it seemed apt to feature this book today. I already had the draft ready when I realized that this book does celebrate life, and so here it is – Old Man of the Sea.

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Picture Book: Old Man of the Sea

Book Info

Title: Old Man of the Sea
Author: Stella Elia
Illustrator: Weberson Santiago
Publishers: Lantana Publishing
Pub Date: 03 Sep 2019
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Age-Range: 5 – 8 years
Source: NetGalley DRC(Digital Review Copy)

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Every Sunday, Grandpa waited for me in his room, and I took my place at the foot of the bed. There were days when Grandpa wanted to talk, and days when we sat in silence. Then one day, Grandpa began telling me stories about his life at sea—tales of love and adventure and danger on the ocean waves. And that’s when I learned who my grandpa really was . . .

My Thoughts

Some of my favorite and oldest memories of my grandparents are the times they told me stories, whether it was of their lives or ones they made up or read somewhere. Reading this book reminded me of those times and reconfirmed the importance of this wonderful relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, and the importance of stories.

Old Man of the Sea is a beautiful depiction of this relationship and of storytelling. As the young boy spends time with his grandpa, he learns about his grandpa’s grand adventures on the sea, and land, of the stories he collected and carried with him to share with his grandson.

The boy does wonder if the stories are real or made-up, or if they are just a ploy to distract him from the fact that grandpa is growing older and weaker each day. But he realizes it does not matter since he loves them anyways!

I enjoyed Stella Elia’s effortless weaving of reality and fantasy as we journey with grandpa and grandson on these adventures. Santiago’s watercolor illustrations are vibrant and a perfect complement to the spirit of the story – capturing both the poignancy and the adventure easily.

Side Notes:

Side-note: Adding some more details on the maps of each continent would have made it even more wonderful (and it is already so), and note that when the narrator mentions America, the reference is to S. America (which is clear when you look at the illustrations).

Side-note 2: This book can be an excellent aid to interest kids in things nautical, map-making, travel in general, storytelling, and to inspire them to value relationships, and to bring home the point that everyone has a suitcase full of stories to tell.

Side-note 3: And I should not forget the lovely dedication in this book. It starts off with ‘To grandparents who enchant childhood.….’

Side-note 4: I realize I love books from Lantana Publishing! Two books reviewed earlier are ‘Peace and Me‘ and ‘Dragon Dancer‘.

In Summary

This is definitely a great addition to your library; a picture book that celebrates life & its beautiful relationships, and is perfect for sharing between grandparents & grandchildren.

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Barnes and Noble

Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley for the digital review copy of the featured book. These thoughts are my honest opinions of the book.

And Now, the End of this Post

Dear reader, do let me know if you have any books you think are perfect to share between grandparents and grandchildren? Or books that you think totally celebrate life – fiction/non-fiction/books for all and any?

Here are my previous posts for the month:

5 thoughts on “Picture Book Review: Old Man of the Sea

  1. I wish I had known about celebrate life day – that is a natural and wonderful day especially since I nearly died last Fall. I also love this book – the vivid illustrations and storytelling sound fabulous. I will look for it!

  2. I really enjoyed this book review. There is nothing like sea stories to stir the imagination. Although the sea is on earth, it is so mysterious that it could very well be outer space. I truly love stories of the sea and I might share some with the kids in my family, who are growing into wonderful readers!

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