Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My Favorite Picture Books: The Boy Who Held Back the Sea


The text of this book is fine. It's a retelling of a Dutch tale in which a young boy holds back the waters of a leak in the dike when he is not believed because he's a bit of a rascal. He stays all night at the dike, suffering through a thunderstorm, and presumably learning from the adventure to be more virtuous in the future. His behavior changes at the end, though it seems more like a trick by the grandmother telling the story than believable from the revelations in the story itself.

The illustrations, though, are magnificent. Thomas Locker has painted picture after picture, full pages in the style of the Dutch painters to give a grand feeling of the landscape and homes of the Dutch people. Flipping through this book makes me want to travel!

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