Written by: Melissa-Sue Joh
Title: Old Man Sea
Author: R. M. Hedgcoth
Publisher: Sunstar Books, 2017
Pages: 24 pages
Genre: Children’s picture book
I invited authors to share their books with me so that my nine year old daughter would read more and we could have something to do together that we both enjoyed. So far, we have been very busy with the number of books we received. That worked perfectly for us. We really enjoyed most of the books we read. However, we read two books for one author and she blew us away for a second time.
What was so fantastic about this book? Everything!
We loved the cover, the dedication, the quotes, the content, the font, the illustrations, the lesson, the good night greeting, and the about us page.
A way with words. For a children’s book, it isn’t so much story telling in the sense of several main characters overcoming a situation or dealing with conflict, as it is mesmerizing poetry on each page. The author can personify nature. The sea has its own life and conflict that mirrors human life and conveys a deeper message that is implied. For me, I grasped the idea that life, like the sea, has low tides and high tides in that it is full of ups and downs. During calm seas there are blue skies and during stormy ones there are gray ones. I garnered from the story that in life we work hard, we fall in crash into each other (symbolic of love and getting hurt or getting ill or weathered by exhaustion), but there is not anything that salt water can’t cure.
Captivating illustrations. Most times when you think of the sea you are looking above it and under it. However, the illustrator captures both the surface and the depth at the same time. It is so magical to be able to be in both places at once. This brother and sister team do a great job matching the story with illustrations that are compatible and deep. It is a little eery to be honest! Eery may convey strange or weird, but its more about exciting and invoking curiosity and wonder. Maybe mysterious is a better choice of words.
Fun Facts. I love a book that is entertaining and educational. After reading a beautiful and poetic story about the sea, children learn about tides.
Enjoyed by all. Many children books that we read were filled with bright colors and funny characters. But this uses dark colors that somehow make it majestic and mystical. This is magical for children, but mature enough for adults to enjoy as well.
Talented. It’s one thing to write one really great book, but to do it again and again shows real talent. Kudos to you, Rachel. We were quite impressed.
We really hope you continue to write and share your gift with the world. Thank you for sharing your books with us.