The Picture Book Buzz

Meet Me By The Sea - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

This week, I'd like to introduce to you an illustrator, author and graphic designer from Galilee, Israel, currently living in Basel, Switzerland - Taltal Levi. This is her second picture book and I can't wait to see what she creates next.


I was intrigued by the cover when I saw this one announced and was excited when I won the book in a giveaway. The spare, touching text and gorgeous illustrations combine to make a beautiful book on the importance of family and nature.


Meet Me By The Sea


Author/Illustrator: Taltal Levi


Publisher: North South Books (2021)


Ages: 4-8


Fiction



Themes:

Family, loneliness, courage, friendship, and nature.


Synopsis:

When a spunky little girl finds that her parents are too busy to play, she decides to visit her favorite place on her own.


The familiar path lightens her step and her heart. And along the way she discovers a wonderful surprise.


Taltal Levi’s spare text and delicate pastel-hued illustrations celebrate courage, discovery, and the power of family.


Opening Lines:

Sometimes I feel invisible to the world,

so I go to my favorite place

where every tree and every shrub is familiar,

and my feet get lighter with every step.


What I LOVED about this book:

I think many kids (and adults) have felt invisible, unseen at some point. And I'm afraid that the recent period of isolation may have exacerbated that feeling. This book gently addresses this feeling in a very relatable and empowering manner.


Feeling left out and ignored, a young girl bundles up, leaves a note, and heads off to her favorite place. Be sure to look closely at the title page for what she adds to her backpack.

© Taltal Levi.


Beautiful, muted pastel illustrations highlight the girl's emotions and foreshadow locations and events. Hiking into familiar woods, her lightens her mood. As the sun sets, a fox gazes at her then wanders past. Although she's prepared when the moon rises, the night is scary, "vast and endless." Eventually, she drifts off to sleep and awakens to a surprise...

© Taltal Levi.


Both "shy yet curious," they form a bond. A mutual respect. And together, they head toward her favorite place - the seaside cliff in the picture on the first spread. With sparse wording, much of the story occurs within the illustrations. Especially the ending, which is touching and satisfying. I'll leave you to discover it and the interesting question it poses, It's a lovely, book affirming friendship, the healing power of nature, and the importance of family. A book that will appeal to kid's emotions and/or their sense of adventure and discovery.


Resources:

- make your own origami fox (https://www.artforkidshub.com/how-to-fold-easy-origami-fox/).

- draw a picture or describe your favorite place. What makes it so special? Is it someplace you go with your family?

- who is she thanking for meeting her by the sea? Why do you think that?

- have you ever felt invisible? When? What did you do?


This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

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Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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