by Joanne Schwartz
Illustrated by Sydney Smith
April 11, 2017
A young boy wakes up to the sound of the sea, visits his grandfather’s grave after lunch and comes home to a simple family dinner, but all the while his mind strays to his father digging for coal deep down under the sea. Stunning illustrations by Sydney Smith, the award-winning illustrator of Sidewalk Flowers, show the striking contrast between a sparkling seaside day and the darkness underground where the miners dig.
With curriculum connections to communities and the history of mining, this beautifully understated and haunting story brings a piece of history to life. The ever-present ocean and inevitable pattern of life in a maritime mining town will enthrall children and move adult readers.
“Schwartz’s historical narrative…perfectly captures the matter-of-fact thinking of a small child…. But the subtle, flowing poetry of her words, combined with Smith’s powerful illustrations, will make Town Is by the Sea an adult favourite as well.” —Quill & Quire starred review
“Smith’s (The White Cat and the Monk) expressive, evocative spreads contrast the light-soaked landscape above with the night-black mine below, and the boy’s varied activities with his father’s fixed routine.” —Publishers Weekly