Hope at Sea by Daniel Miyares (9781984892836)
The daughter of a shipwright, the protagonist in this story loves the sea and wishes that she could join her father on his next journey. She decides to stowaway on his trip, hiding onboard. The wind soon carries the sailing ship out onto the sea. It doesn’t take long for her father to discover her and soon she is working alongside others on the ship: tying knots, painting the hull, carrying loads. They travel for weeks, stopping for cargo at ports along the way. She starts to miss her mother though as they near home again. Then a storm hits, one that batters the ship. Ordered to stay below, she knows she must try to help. After being thrown onto the rocks, they must abandon the sinking ship. But those who love them find a way to light the shore. It’s a light that inspires her father’s new adventure.
The text and the illustrations of this picture book work hand-in-hand. They form the complete story together. The text itself is robust in places where descriptions are needed and then becomes the gentles breeze of words when the illustrations can carry the tale. It’s a story with plenty of tension and amazement as the young protagonist heads on an adventure. It can also be seen as a clever allegory for life’s journey with risk taking, hard work, storms, near disasters, and recovery and reinvention.
The illustrations are filled with details that evoke the time period and the elements of the ship. From bright sun to the darkness of a hiding place to tropical ports and then the movement and danger of the storm, all of these make for a real page turner of a picture book.
A grand adventure at sea. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by Anne Schwartz Books.