By Author / Illustrator
Margaret Wild, Jane Tanner
Family & Home
'Who lives in that cottage by the sea? I wish. I wish. I wish it was me.' A lyrical masterpiece by Margaret Wild and Jane Tanner.
Who lives in that cottage by the sea? /
I wish. I wish. I wish it was me./
This is one of those delicious books that are a gift to a teacher with a curious class. The book opens with a monochromatic spread showing a boat floundering in the sea and a circle of ripples as if something has fallen into the ocean. There are no words, instantly opening the picture to interpretation.
The next spread introduces a girl leaving the water, a subtle smudge of blue now added to the black and white illustration, leaving the reader with more questions. The first words of the story are now introduced, the eerie refrain 'Who lives in that cottage by the sea?'.
The blue seeps through the pictures as sea creatures follow the girl on her way to the cottage. She passes a small gravestone set near the home where a father plays with his children whilst a woman stands alone by a tree. Deceptively simple, the text continues with questions the girl is asking, hauntingly lyrical and thought provoking.
The ghostly child reaches out to the mother, the water spreading through the images. The penultimate spread shows the family on the beach, their reflections in the wet sand where the little girl can be seen touching the mother's hand until the final picture shows them hand in hand and smiling. There are many stories offered here!
Full of opportunities for discussion, inference, drama and so much imaginative writing (including poetry), Girl from the Sea is a stunning book, full of atmospheric, evocative images. I loved it!
32 pages / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 9+