About the BookA child recounts their grandfather's stories of his life at sea.
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 . . .
A grandson recounts his grandpa's love for the sea and worldwide adventures in this Brazilian import. 'Every line on my skin tells the story of my life, ' Grandpa tells his narrating grandson before he begins sharing his life's story. With the help of Santiago's striking illustrations, Elia shows this old salt's love for each land he visited in his youth as a sailor. Grandpa shares his travels from Europe, where he'ate picnics in groves of olive trees, ' to Africa, where he 'climbed sand dunes to watch the sun go down.' From Asia to Oceania and finally America, Santiago's vibrant palette depicts famous landmarks and animals in each of the five continents (North and South America are considered as one, and Antarctica doesn't make an appearance). With a touch of the fantastical, the narrative carries readers over the oceans as Grandpa's ship rides the hump of a whale from continent to continent and Grandpa collects stories. While at sea, the vastness provides a calm and contemplative blue space, with Grandpa's boat urging readers to turn the page. Like the grandson, readers might also wonder if Grandpa's stories are true, but it won't matter as this gorgeous story will have them returning to the beginning of the book to once again embark on the journey. Both grandfather and grandson have brown skin; by originating Grandpa's travels outside of Europe, the story interestingly complicates questions of imperialism. A masterpiece.--starred, Kirkus Reviews-- "Journal" (7/9/2019 12:00:00 AM)
In this celebration of the bond forged by storytelling between generations, a young narrator learns of his grandfather's past as a great sailor. In his final weeks of life, Grandpa shares his fairy tale-like adventures in other continents and out on the open ocean. After spending his young adult life sailing, a storm (and a mermaid) bring his unconscious body to land, where he stays, marries, and has a family. After weeks of Sunday visits, the young narrator wonders, 'if Grandpa was inventing stories just to distract me from noticing how frail he had become, ' and in this picture book's final page, readers hear Grandpa's words: 'The land is your grandmother, her stories are your stories, and life, my grandson, is a sailor's knot: simple, resistant and easy to untie.' The beautiful, digitally rendered watercolor illustrations embrace the adventure, the enchantment, and the wisdom of this original narration.
VERDICT A tender, accessible tale with detailed, bright artwork that could also function as a gentle approach to the topic of loss.--School Library Journal-- "Journal" (8/16/2019 12:00:00 AM)