Town Is by the Sea

Town Is by the Sea Review

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 with his family, 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 Canadian history to life. The ever-present ocean and inevitable pattern of life in a Cape Breton mining town will enthrall children and move adult readers.

Title:Town Is by the Sea

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    Town Is by the Sea Reviews

  • Betsy

    There’s been a lot of talk lately about how a parent can engender empathy in their children. It’s a good question and worth a lot of discussion and listening. As a parent I’ve wondered about it ...

  • Hilary

    This is a beautiful book and would make a perfect book for boys to read with their fathers and especially meaningful to anyone who has relatives who have worked in the mines.The story follows a young ...

  • David Schaafsma

    A kind of portrait of a coal miner’s son in a Cape Breton town illustrated with a lovely dark palette by Sydney Smith. The boy is a coal miner's grandson and coal miner's son and he expects to be a ...

  • Karen Witzler

    Beautiful illustrations by Sydney Smith and a rare look at the world of a working-class little boy who is aware that he is expected to follow the other men in his family into work as a coal-miner....

  • Melki

    This is a simple story of how a Cape Breton boy spends his day in the village by the sea, contrasted with his own father's day spent mining coal. Even with its dark, dreary palette, this is a striking...

  • KC

    The artwork is stunning. The story is a bit too long but lovely....

  • Agn?

    3.5 out of 5Town Is by the Sea manages to be both quietly beautiful and depressingly fatalistic. Joanne Schwartz's laconic, matter-of-fact, and somewhat repetitive text is oddly comforting, while the ...

  • Mathew

    Seagulls call out on the shore wind and the fine mist spray of the restless sea hits us: white breakers captured in an endless wash against the cliff-slide of a small mining town in 1950s' Nova Scotia...

  • Megan Watterson

    This book was being used in a year 3/4 class on my placement. I loved this book for using with the class. There are so many messages in it of family and tradition alongside an innocent child. The auth...

  • Phoebe Ledster

    After my first reading of this book I came away enjoying what I had seen and read. However, it was not until I had read the book for a second and third time that I was truly mesmerised.Firstly, it mus...