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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Teacup, wirtten by Rebecca Young and illustrated by Matt Ottley. Dial Books for Young Readers, Penguin. 2016. 23.99 ages 6 and up

"Some days shone bright
on an endless sea of white.

Other days were so dark
that the boy longed for
the stars.

Every day he watched
the horizon for a speck
that he could follow
until it grew ... "

Where is home? For the young boy in this beautifully crafted tale, it is somewhere else. The story opens with him standing beside a rowboat, prepared to leave one home for another. We do not know why.

He has what he needs ... a book, a bottle, a blanket. He also has a teacup which contains earth from where he once played. His journey is both 'kind' and 'bold', his destination unknown. It is obvious that the teacup is exceptionally important to him. He holds it with careful concentration through each days' travel. He is constantly on the lookout for land, while also remembering the joys of the life he has left in his wake.

"The way the whales called out to one another
reminded him of how his mother
used to call him in for tea."

As he changes, so does the tree in his teacup.

"The tree gave him shelter and shade,
apples to eat, branches to climb,
and cozy nooks that he knew were
just perfect for daydreaming."

With land comes hope, and a chance to make a new life for himself.

There are no words to adequately describe the beauty found in Matt Ottley's gorgeous images. They shimmer, they acknowledge the elements and the mystery of the sea, they add hope and wonder to an incredible journey.


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