Cover Image: Old Man of the Sea

Old Man of the Sea

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This is a beautiful multi-generational story about a young boy and his grandfather. Grandfather shares stories with his grandson about his years and travels at sea. He tells of falling in love with every continent and then moving on again before settling down to raise a family and live out the rest of his life in America. I love the comment, that every line in his face is a story. Each continent is beautifully depicted and would make a fun accompaniment to the start of a geography lesson. The illustrations are amazing. They remind of impressionist paintings you might see in an art gallery. It is nice to learn from our grandparents and take the time to listen to their stories and this book shows why that is important. I enjoyed this book, but I am not sure what age the target audience is. Younger children would not be captivated by the story, but would love the illustrations.
Was this review helpful?
My Thoughts
Some of my favorite and oldest memories of my grandparents are the times they told me stories, whether it was of their lives or ones they made up or read somewhere. Reading this book reminded me of those times and reconfirmed the importance of this wonderful relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, and the importance of stories.

Old Man of the Sea is a beautiful depiction of this relationship and of storytelling. As the young boy spends time with his grandpa, he learns about his grandpa’s grand adventures on the sea, and land, of the stories he collected and carried with him to share with his grandson.

The boy does wonder if the stories are real or made-up, or if they are just a ploy to distract him from the fact that grandpa is growing older and weaker each day. But he realizes it does not matter since he loves them anyways!

I enjoyed Stella Elia’s effortless weaving of reality and fantasy as we journey with grandpa and grandson on these adventures. Santiago’s watercolor illustrations are vibrant and a perfect complement to the spirit of the story – capturing both the poignancy and the adventure easily.

Side Notes:
Side-note: Adding some more details on the maps of each continent would have made it even more wonderful (and it is already so), and note that when the narrator mentions America, the reference is to S. America (which is clear when you look at the illustrations).

Side-note 2: This book can be an excellent aid to interest kids in things nautical, map-making, travel in general, storytelling, and to inspire them to value relationships, and to bring home the point that everyone has a suitcase full of stories to tell.

Side-note 3: And I should not forget the lovely dedication in this book. It starts off with ‘To grandparents who enchant childhood.….’

Side-note 4: I realize I love books from Lantana Publishing! Two books reviewed earlier are ‘Peace and Me‘ and ‘Dragon Dancer‘.

In Summary
This is definitely a great addition to your library; a picture book that celebrates life & its beautiful relationships, and is perfect for sharing between grandparents & grandchildren.

Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley for the digital review copy of the featured book. These thoughts are my honest opinions of the book.
Was this review helpful?
With illustrations resembling those in an art gallery we’re told of a mans life at sea and the wondrous things he experienced. Grandpa is getting frail and entertains his grandson with stories of foreign lands and their wonders before he reaches the end of his life.
Was this review helpful?
This is a great diverse read! I love the map feature, and the artwork is just stunning. I hope this makes it into the hands of children everywhere.
Was this review helpful?
This book makes two points: value the elderly and it takes time to find your place in the world. It makes sense to me. But will it land with small children, the intended audience? It's sweet and contemplative.
Was this review helpful?
I love everything about this beautiful picture book -- the poetic text, the loving relationship between the elderly grandfather and his grandson, and the gorgeous artwork. The narrator tells of his grandfather telling him stories of his adventures of sea, saying that every line in his face is a story. He tells of falling in love with every continent and then moving on again ("he filled his luggage with stories and returned to the sea") before settling down to raise a family and live out the rest of his life in America. Each land is beautifully depicted and would make a fun accompaniment to the start of a geography study.

This is an all around beautiful book with the kind of lyrical text, moving message and wonderful art that would be easy to read at bedtime again and again.

I read a digital ARC of this book for the purpose of review.
Was this review helpful?
What a beautiful cross generational story! We need more of the stories where we see the importance and value of a grandparent grandchild relationship. Grandpa found joy in telling his stories and it brought light to his days. The boy loved to listen and learn about his grandfather and his travels.  Oh to sit and learn from grandparents. I loved this book.
Was this review helpful?
I'm so glad I stumbled upon this title just before publication. The imaginative story of a grandfather telling his grandson about his seafaring days was lovely and full of life. The art is so stunning, I can't wait to see if full sized on a page. I love to recommend picture books with adventures and life lessons imparted by elders and this book definitely fits the bill. Well done!
Was this review helpful?
I liked this story! It was so fun traveling the world in Grandpa's little stories of his past as a sailor. Sadly, the illustrations didn't download properly, so I think I may have been missing some of the story as other reviewers mentioned America wasn't a reference to the U.S., but S. America.  So maybe find a copy to preview before purchase if this might be an issue. I'd buy it myself!
Was this review helpful?
A beautiful story. Not sure what else to say about this one. I will be purchasing this for my library and sharing it with teachers and students. Loved the illustrations as well.
Was this review helpful?
At first glance, this is a cute little story that teaches a bit about world geography. I was enjoying it right up until the point where Grandpa fell in love with "America"... and then I realized that this book isn't going to work in North America.

The author being Brazilian, I wasn't surprised by how the book was worded. But the fact that the North American publisher didn't see a problem is what has me a bit baffled. See, South Americans tend to call the collective Americas "America" (with a sometimes violent insistence that I really don't understand; if they want to call themselves "Americans", fine... but they should be prepared to be misunderstood). North Americans, however, don't use that word on its own unless they're referring to the United States. This could be horribly confusing to most North American children, and it could've been easily fixed by referring to "the Americas" rather than just "America". (The text would've suffered a little since the names of the continents are used as proper names, as if they're people. Still, as it is, it's not going to work that well for North American children.)

The pictures are nice and colourful, and it's kind of neat to see the little drawings of landmarks on the various continents (although, I'm not sure why the London Eye is shown in England, since Grandpa apparently fell in love with Europe first... implying that he went there a long time ago, long before that landmark would've been built). I would've liked to see more landmarks for certain places like New Zealand (all it gets are a couple of trees) and for Canada to be less stereotyped (apparently, all we have here are trees, moose, and igloos). The opportunity was there to really show the diversity that the continents have to offer; sadly, that opportunity wasn't taken full advantage of.

I think this will probably play better to non-North American audiences. It's not a bad book. It simply has the potential to be kind of confusing due to the different ways people refer to the continents in the Western Hemisphere.
Was this review helpful?
I received this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.

The illustrations in this book are lovely. The colors are vibrant and the images vivid. Unfortunately, I didn’t love the story. The way the author personified the continents in the grandfather’s travels would be lost on many and I found myself being far more enchanted by what I saw than what I read.
Was this review helpful?
Old Man of the Sea by Stella Elia is a beautifully illustrated tale of adventures at sea, as told by a grandfather to his captivated grandson.

The pages are few and the text is brief, but in only a few words the author manages to capture the magical bond that the two share.  As the grandfather tells the tales that, essentially, encapsulate a life gone by, he is conveying to his young grandson that he must one day take the wheel in order to navigate his own journey through life.  The watercolour images serve as a nautical fantasy and are a vivid and clear complement to the text.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC, and Lantana Publishing for an ARC.
Was this review helpful?