Thursday, August 1, 2013

My Father's Arms are a Boat


Author: Stein Erik Lunde
Illustrator:   Oyvind Torseter
Publisher:  Enchanted Lion Books
Publication Year:   2013
Location: Knox County Public Library- Lawson McGhee

Awards:   Norwegian Ministry’s Culture Prize for the Best Book and “Most Beautiful Book Award” for best picture book, Kirkus starred review

Summary:  A boy can't sleep and goes to sit on his father's lap. The two discussion the trees and birds in the forest and then that the boy's mommy will never wake up. The two go outside into the night for a while and then return inside where the man reassures the boy that "everything will be all right." "Are you sure?" "I'm sure." The subject is addressed in a straight forward way with no melodrama and shows the loneliness of both characters. The mixed-media illustrations are strange, but realistic. Kirkus describes them better than I can: "They seem grounded in reality, yet they are dreamlike, giving the impression one has been privileged to see someone else’s memory. A breathtaking masterpiece."

Classroom Ideas: Wow, the language in this book- "crackling of he fire" "tongues of fire like his face"  "the moon that looks like a boat" "eyes, black as night, are dark and deep in his face"
Although this is a picture book, both the words and the theme make it appropriate for older children.

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