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Ocean Meets Sky
Contributor(s): Fan, Terry, Fan, Eric (Illustrator)
ISBN: 148147037X     ISBN-13: 9781481470377
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    OUR PRICE: $16.20  
Product Type: School And Library
Published: May 2018
Annotation: A little boy builds a ship to honor his late grandfather and sets sail for the magical place where ocean meets sky from his grandfather's stories.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Sailing; Fiction.
Ocean; Fiction.
Grandfathers; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Nature & The Natural World | Environment
- Juvenile Fiction | Family | Multigenerational
- Juvenile Fiction | Imagination & Play
Dewey: [E]
LCCN: 2017022012
Academic/Grade Level: Kindergarten, Ages 5-6
Book type: Easy Fiction
Physical Information: 9.25" H x 11.25" W x 0.50" (1.14 lbs)
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2018 February #4)

Young Finn's grandfather, when he was alive, had a white pointed beard that made him look like a sage. He told Finn stories about "a place far away where ocean meets sky." Now, to celebrate the day his grandfather would have been 90, Finn creates a boat out of wood scraps, then drifts off to sleep inside it. In a dream, a great, mustachioed golden carp appears to help Finn find the place his grandfather described: "It's up and down and very far." Finn sails through nautical fancies that attentive readers will recognize as curiosities from his grandfather's study, at last reaching a starry, light-filled paradise where schooners, hot-air balloons, dirigibles, a blue whale, and even the Titanic all sail serenely for eternity—and the full moon contains the smiling face of his grandfather. Meticulous draftsmanship by the Fan brothers (The Night Gardener) gives the spreads genuine majesty; Finn's tiny craft is barely visible among the great vessels. The artists imagine not a general, one-size-fits-all afterlife, but one that Finn and his grandfather share—and one that readers will feel privileged to share with them. Ages 4–8. Agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Agency. (May)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 March)

PreS-Gr 3—The Fan brothers' elegant illustrations and understated yet emotion-packed storytelling create a picture book that is at once mystical, magical, and magnetic. Finn, a boy of Asian descent who lives by the sea, remembers the stories his grandfather told him about a faraway place "where ocean meets sky." Today would have been Grandpa's 90th birthday, and Finn honors him by building a boat for the journey they had planned together. After cobbling together driftwood, an old tire, window frames, and other discarded materials, he crawls inside the vessel for a short nap. When he awakens, the boat is at sea; but this is no ordinary voyage. A massive golden fish with a mustache and goatee agrees to lead Finn to the destination described in his grandfather's tales. After visiting several amazing locales (including the Library Islands, where "bookish birds" roost and read), the boat lifts skyward ("or had the water fallen away?"). Finn glides through eye-catching spreads filled with wonders from ocean and air (a magnificent mélange of giant whales, submarines, sailing ships, dirigibles, hot air balloons, and more) toward a full moon with a very familiar and much-longed-for face. Summoned home by his mother's call, Finn stands on the seashore, looks to the moon, and acknowledges that "It had been a good day for sailing." Rendered in graphite and colored digitally, the artwork masterfully blends realistic details with soaring flights of fancy. VERDICT This grand adventure stirs imaginations while also celebrating a loving intergenerational relationship and providing comfort and closure after loss. Readers will want to share this affecting title one-on-one, with plenty of time to pore over the gorgeous artwork.—Joy Fleishhacker, Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.