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The sea chest / Toni Buzzeo ; illustrated by Mary GrandPré.

Buzzeo, Toni. (Author).
Book Book (c2002.)
Description: 1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 26 cm.
Publisher: New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, c2002.
7 of 7 copies available at NOBLE (All Libraries).
0 current holds with 7 total copies.
Library Location Call Number Status Due Date
Beverly Main Children's Picture Books Child Picture Book BUZ (Text to Phone) Available -
Everett - Parlin Memorial Children's Picture Books E/Buzzeo (Text to Phone) Available -
Gloucester Children's Picture Books J/E/ Buzzeo (Picture Books) (Text to Phone) Available -
Marblehead Children's Picturebook J EASY BUZZEO (Text to Phone) Available -
Peabody West Branch Children's Picture Books Child E/Buzzeo (Text to Phone) Available -
Salem State ERA Education Resource Area Educ. Res. PS 3602 .U99 S4 2002 (Text to Phone) Available -
Swampscott Children's Room Picture Books jP Buzzeo (Text to Phone) Available -

  • ISBN: 0803727038 (alk. paper):
Summary: A young girl listens as her great-aunt, a lighthouse keeper's daughter, tells of her childhood living on a Maine island, and of the infant that washed ashore after a storm.
Authors: GrandPré, Mary, (ill.).
Citation: Buzzeo, Toni. "The sea chest." New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, 2002.
  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 September 2002
    Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. In language that rises and falls like ocean waves, Buzzeo spins a local Maine legend into a deeply felt family story. When Maita, a lighthouse keeper's only, lonely child, hears a noise from a bundle of mattresses washed ashore after a wild storm, she hopes for a kitten to keep her company. Instead, a sea chest within the bundle holds a baby, who becomes her beloved sister, Seaborne. That tale comes full circle as, just after Seaborne's death many years later, Maita tells it to Seaborne's young great-granddaughter while the two wait, next to that old chest, for a "tiny stranger" the child's parents are bringing from across the sea. Using oils rather than her customary pastels, GrandPre creates luminous New England scenes in rich, warm colors, sometimes rather stiffly brushed but centered on loving expressions and gestures. Here's one family engaged not only in passing down its past but also in a tradition of open arms and hearts. Older children may also enjoy hearing this read aloud. ((Reviewed September 15, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews
  • Publishers Weekly Reviews : PW Reviews 2002 August #1
    While waiting for a "stranger," a girl snuggles with her great-great-aunt, looking at a photo of a small child "touched so often with hope, the edges curl." This intriguing beginning launches a touching story-within-a-story. Auntie Maita describes her loneliness as the only child of a Maine lighthouse keeper. One morning, after a fierce storm, Maita and her father find a sea chest wrapped in mattresses. Inside, they find a baby and this sorrowful note: "We commit this child into the hands of God. May He save her." Basing her plot on a local legend, Buzzeo, a Maine school librarian making her picture book debut, writes with such vivid, sensory-rich language that readers are almost certain to feel Maita's yearning for companionship and, later, her joy at having a sister. GrandPré's (illustrator of the Harry Potter books) oil paintings, too, communicate the characters' shifting moods. During the storm, Mama and Maita peer through the window at Papa as he lurches against the wind toward the lighthouse. In a shadowy, sea-like, blue-green room, their candlelit faces exude a deep but stoically controlled fear. Back in the present, the girl looks expectantly at the quilt-lined sea chest, which "waits open on the table, for the tiny stranger my mama and papa have gone to fetch from so far across the wide Atlantic. To be my sister." Poignant, poetic and movingly illustrated, this story resonates with sisterly love. Ages 5-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
  • School Library Journal Reviews : SLJ Reviews 2002 August
    Gr 1-4-Aunt Maita tells her great-grandniece about her wonderful but lonely young years as the only child of a lighthouse keeper and his wife on a rocky Maine island. The text is poetic, describing the change in seasons in this remote setting. Then comes a terrible storm that frightens the family and bodes disaster for any ship at sea. The following day, Maita and her father find a bundled mattress, obviously washed ashore from a sunken ship. Unfolding it, they discover a leather sea chest with a baby inside, accompanied by a note from her despairing parents. The family adopts the child and they raise her as their own. Together Maita and Seaborne spend their days together-first on the island and later on the mainland where they live close by. At the end, readers learn that Aunt Maita, now an old woman, is telling the story to her niece as the child is waiting for her own adopted sister to arrive from overseas. GrandPré's oil paintings create the dramatic effects of the story. From the muted sunrise on the endpapers to the sunset on the back cover, this lovely book has an intimacy that is enhanced by reading it aloud. The combination of exquisite language and enchanting illustrations makes this a unique and outstanding book.-Barbara Buckley, Rockville Centre Public Library, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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