While a young boy enjoys a summer's day, his thoughts constantly return to his father, who is digging for coal deep under the sea.
Stunning illustrations by Sydney Smith, the award-winning illustrator of Footpath Flowers, show the striking contrast between a sparkling seaside day and the darkness underground where the miners dig. This beautifully understated and haunting story brings a piece of mining history to life.
The ever-present ocean and inevitable pattern of life in a mining town will enthral children and move adult readers, as a young boy wakes up to the sound of the sea, visits his grandfather's grave after lunch and comes home to a cosy dinner with his family, but all the while his mind strays to his father digging for coal deep down under the sea.
About the Author
Joanne Schwartz was born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. She is the author of a number of children's books including Our Corner Grocery Store, which was nominated for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. Joanne has been a children's librarian for more than twenty-five years. She lives in Toronto.
About the Illustrator
Sydney Smith has illustrated multiple children’s books, including The White Cat and the Monk, written by Jo Ellen Bogart, and the highly acclaimed Footpath Flowers, which was a New York Times Children’s Book of the Year, a winner of the Governor General Award for Illustration and shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Born in Nova Scotia in Canada, Sydney now lives in Toronto.
An atmospheric, haunting story about a young boy whose father digs for coal beneath the sea. * The Bookseller *
"Written by Joanne Schwartz and delightfully illustrated by Sydney Smith, Town is by the Sea is a quiet book that will stay with readers long after they have closed it." * Israel Book Review *
"[...] this book is a stunning snapshot of a life [...] And while this is for the reader a rather haunting tale, it also highlights the beauty and happiness that can be found around us even when life can seem harsh. [...] The melodic text reads beautifully and the colour palette is stunning; Smith's work on conveying sunlight on the water is some of the most striking I have ever encountered [...] " * Library Mice *
"A story, simply told, with beautifully evocative illustrations: this book is pure delight. [...] It is one which when shared and talked about will become a firm favourite." * The School Librarian *
"I haven't read such a deeply affecting picturebook in years - it moved me to tears. [...] The pitch-perfect text and the outstanding illustrations which play with light and dark, summer sun and coal-seam black, combine to produce a masterpiece. I can't recommend it highly enough for older children and adults who are looking for something a little different." * Independent online, Ireland *