Written in a spare, lyrical style using fresh, evocative imagery, In a Village by the Sea tells the story of longing for the comforts of home. A perfect book for teaching about diverse cultures and lifestyles through rich pictures and words, moving from the wide world to the snugness of home and back out again.
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Age Group: 4-10 years
Source: Review copy from publisher
Reviewed By: Kelli & Kaitlyn
The illustrations make this book so beautiful and fun to read. As we read the book for the first time, I found myself looking forward to what each new page would hold. I especially liked the cricket's paintings, even though I didn't completely understand his role in the story. And maybe I wasn't meant to fully comprehend the seemingly prophetic cricket---it certainly didn't seem to bother Kaitlyn, so I was probably over-thinking things. He ended up being part of the allure of the book for both Kaitlyn and me.
The text is spare, and while I personally felt it was a little too simple for a book geared towards ages 4-10, the sparsity of words lets the reader imagine their own story. At least that's what Kaitlyn did: she embellished the main story theme with her own thoughts and characters. "This man is thinking that, this mom is saying this," etc. I like that she did that, instead of just passively listening to the story. I guess what I'm saying is that Muon Van wrote In A Village By the Sea in a way to encourage children to add to the story with their own imaginations. I love that.
We really enjoyed In A Village By the Sea and would definitely read Muon Van again.