This beautifully illustrated story looks at the quiet relationship between a boy and his ailing grandfather. Every Sunday they sit together and talk or share a comfortable silence, until one day the Grandfather decides the time has come to share tales of his life with the boy. And what a life!
Grandpa was a sailor who circumnavigated the world and fell in love with each continent he discovered. He picnicked in olive groves with Europe, climbed sand dunes with Africa, explored temples with Asia and went diving with Oceania. The love he felt for these lands was strong, but not as strong as the lure of the sea. Eventually he always found himself back in his boat in search of a new adventure.
However a violent storm and a chance encounter with a mermaid changes everything. He finds himself in a new, undiscovered place and falls in love anew. Could America be the continent which finally convinces him to lay down some roots?
This book has so much to offer both children and grown ups. It has a real sense of adventure and the illustrations are glorious.
Ivy loves the pages which show maps of the continents as they feature iconic landmarks. She got excited when she recognised Big Ben and then wanted to know what all the other ones were too (and i’m not going to lie – I did have to google some of them!).
Reading it as an adult, I love the clever personification of the continents and the fact you get a real sense of the adventurous life which the Grandfather has lived (even if some of his stories may not be entirely true!). You see that his journey is coming to an end but the little boy’s is just beginning. What might the future hold for him?
The book is published in the UK on August 29th and in the US/Canada on September 2nd – but you can grab yourself a copy right now on Lantana’s website – https://lantanapublishing.com/collections/diverse-and-inclusive-books/products/old-man-of-the-sea
Disclosure: The publisher provided us with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review