Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Surrounded by Sea: Life on a New England Fishing Island

Surrounded by Sea: Life on a New England Fishing Island

Gail Gibbons
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 4 to 8
Holiday House, 1991   ISBN: 978-0823419418

It is spring and things are happening on the island. People who spent the winter on the mainland are coming back to the island and the fishermen and lobstermen are getting their boats and gear ready for a new season. Soon the lobsterman is out on the water dropping his pots over the side of his boat while his friends and neighbors on the island plant their gardens and hunt for shellfish on the beach.

With the coming of summer things are even busier as the ferry brings visitors to the island. Indeed, every season brings special treats, celebrations, and gifts to the island people.

Gail Gibbons has created a very special portrait of a small fishing island off the cost of New England. Not only are there the usual changes in the seasons that one expects but there are many other traditions and customs which are unique to this part of the world. Flat folkloric style art shows the reader, among other things, how lobsters are caught, how different fishing methods are used, and how beautiful a little island can look under a blanket of snow.