This is an unusual, heartwarming modern fairy tale of a girl who doesn’t quite fit in but is loved for who she is. She finds her self-confidence through that love, and through the magic of storytelling. This is a wonderful read aloud.
A solitary girl with a kinship for the sea makes a wondrous discovery in a tale of identity and belonging from master storyteller David Almond.
Annie Lumsden has hair that drifts like seaweed, eyes that shine like rock pools, and thoughts that dart and dance like minnows. She lives with her artist mother by the sea, where she feels utterly at home, and has long felt apart from the other girls at school. Words and numbers on the page don’t make sense to her, and strange maladies have been springing up that the doctors can’t explain. Annie’s mother says that all things can be turned into tales, and often she tells her daughter stories about the rocks she paints like faces, or the smoke that wafts from chimneys, or who Annie’s dad is. But one day Annie asks her mother for a different tale, something with better truth in it—and on that same day a stranger in town, drawn to the sight of a girl who seems akin to the sea, helps Annie understand how special she is. Featuring Beatrice Alemagna’s expressive illustrations, this enchanting coming-of-age tale by the award-winning David Almond borrows from lore and flirts at the edges of mystery.
About the Author
David Almond is the acclaimed author of many novels for children, including Skellig, Kit's Wilderness, The Color of the Sun, and War Is Over, and he has collaborated with many artists on fiction for younger readers. His books sell all over the world, and he was the 2010 winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award. David Almond lives in England.
Beatrice Alemagna is the award-winning author and illustrator of several books, including Harold Snipperpot's Best Disaster Ever, Un grand jour de rien, Lotta combinaguai sa fare tutto by Astrid Lindgren, and Picasso & Lump by Nancy Lim. She is a six-time nominee for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and has exhibited her art around the world. Beatrice Alemagna lives in Paris.
This short, captivating story is enhanced with watercolor-and–colored-pencil illustrations in natural tones; the illustrations’ impressionistic style perfectly mirrors the text’s blurring of the lines between the magical and the everyday. This gentle tale reminds readers of the power of stories to remake our humdrum worlds into something wondrous. . . . Enchanting. —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Almond’s (Joe Quinn’s Poltergeist) sea-swept story, enhanced by Alemagna’s (Things That Go Away) eloquent, softly hued watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations, melds memorable turns of phrase with an appreciation for the unexpected: 'Sometimes the best way to understand how to be human is to understand our strangeness.' —Publishers Weekly