Monday, January 13, 2014

My Father's Arms are a Boat - a book review for your Monday

Quote of the Day:

"Books like friends, should be few and well chosen."
              - Samuel Johnson

Today's featured book:

Author:  Stein Erik Lunde
Illustrator:  Oyvind Torseter
Translator:  Kari Dickson
Ages:  3-10

This hauntingly stunning book takes on a very difficult subject matter that many families find hard to understand or even talk about because the pain is so deep.  A little grieving boy, unable to settle down to sleep seeks out his dad, crawls up in his arms and together they talk about why mom is not there any more and why she will never wake up and come home.  The little boy asks many questions about the animals outside and he worries if the birds will get the bread he left them. By the end of the book the little boy has gotten the love and support of beloved dad and is assured all will be well both in nature and in their home.  The topic is beautifully written and the paper-cut illustrations perfectly fit the tone and mood of the story. The illustrations give each scene the feel of a diaorama. 

This gentle, touching story should be read before hand so you can prepare for the related "conversation" that will certainly follow.  Both the author and the illustrator are from Norway and I am so glad the book was translated and sent here for us to enjoy.  

About the author:

About the Author

Stein Erik Lunde: Born in 1953, Stein Erik Lunde has written 16 books, mostly for children and young adults. His books have been published in Sweden, Denmark, The Faroe Islands, Germany and France. This is his first book to be published in the United States. He also has written lyrics for more than a hundred songs and has translated Bob Dylan into Norwegian. Over the past 14 years, Lunde’s books have received many awards. In 2009, My Father’s Arms Are A Boat was awarded the Norwegian Ministry’s Culture Prize for the Best Book for Children & Youth.
My Father’s Arms Are A Boat was also nominated for the 2011 German Children’s Literature Award (Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis).

About the illustrator:

Øyvind Torseter: Born in 1972, Øyvind Torseter is an artist and one of Norway’s most acclaimed illustrators. He employs both traditional and digital picture techniques and has made five picture books on his own and several together with different authors. Torseter has received numerous prizes for his books, including the Bologna Ragazzi Award, the Norwegian Ministry of Culture’s prize for the Best Book for Children and Youth (for 5 different books, including this one), and the “Most Beautiful Book Award” for best picture book, also for five different books. In 2011, he received the Norwegian Book Art Prize. For 2012, he has been nominated for the ALMA Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

Kari Dickson: Translator.

Book Review Rating:    8  (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always!   


If you are an author, illustrator, blogger of children's books, an educator, or have brilliant ideas that connect with the theme of my blog I'd like to hear from you and perhaps welcome you to share a guest post here so all of us to learn and enjoy.  You can leave me a shout on the blog under comments if you are interested, or go straight to my email at:   I have gotten a good response so far and would like to incorporate this feature into this space once or twice a month.  If you have ideas, opinions or what you would like to see here please let me know.  Have an awesome day everyone.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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