Children's Book Review: In a Village by the Sea by Muon Van

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


In A Village By the Sea is a very unique and beautiful book.  Kaitlyn really enjoyed it and so did I.  

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.

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