A River, the Sea, an Island

2017 featured a bounty of fantastic picture books. As I thought about last year's treasures, I started to think in categories -- historical stories, humorous tales, poetic books, and books with gorgeous illustrations. Within the illustration category, there were three books about water that really stood out.

A River by Marc Martin
A child imagines where the river in the city could take her--past farms, hills and valleys, the jungle, to the ocean. The deep, saturated paintings in this book create a moody atmosphere. A River came out in Australia a few years ago; its US debut followed in 2017. Martin’s Instagram, @marcmartinillo, opens a new window, is one I’ve most enjoyed following.

Town Is By the Sea by Joanne Schwartz and Sydney Smith
A coal miner’s son recounts the story of an ordinary day, in his a house with a view of the sea. The illustrations are lovely, depicting the calm, beauty, and sparkle of a seaside town, in contrast to the boy’s father’s steady, quiet work in the darkness below the sea. Both author and illustrator are from Nova Scotia, Canada.

Robinson by Peter Sís
This large blue book recounts the author’s bittersweet memory of his homemade childhood Robinson Crusoe costume (also included is a cool old black and white photo of the author, as a young boy, in said costume). Not only does Sís depict a warm nostalgic feeling through watercolor, pen and ink, but he also conducted flora and fauna research to accurately depict the island of Martinique.

Were there any picture books about water that stood out for you? Let us know below.