Thursday, 4 June 2015
The Sea Thing Child by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Patrick Benson
I nearly didn't put this one in my pile in the library the other day. I know its a bit of a classic, I had heard of it. And we love, love, love Owl Babies, also illustrated by Patrick Benson, but I just wasn't keen on the title. Then when I got home my nine year old said he had read a bit of it already, as there was an excerpt in his English text book. That didn't really sell it to me either (although he was glad to see it), I have searched through those stories too often, looking for "what made Tom sad when he first arrived at the orphanage?" or "were the bullies punished for their actions?" I really didn't think the school books publishers had great taste in kids literature.
Once again, I was wrong. The The Sea Thing Child is amazing. Its quite a long read aloud, so my four year old certainly didn't sit for all of it, but his brothers were transfixed. As was I. Its funny and a bit sad and uplifting and the most beautifully written story I have read aloud in a long time. I suppose its about bravery really. Anyway, The Sea Thing Child - its definitely worth checking out. You'll read it over and over again.
"I have to make a break in the circle of course," said the sea-thing child, "but that's much less bother than moving stones and much easier to close up again."
"Yes," said the crab. "That's very sensible. It's a fine day. Perhaps we might take a walk among the rocks?"