Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Tattered Sails

Tattered Sails

Verla Kay
Illustrator:  Dan Andreasen 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Penguin, 2001   ISBN: 978-0399233456

Thomas, Edward and Mary Jane are leaving their old life in London behind; they are leaving everything they have ever known to seek a new life in a new land across a wide ocean. It is a journey across "Azure seas" and it is also a very uncomfortable journey in a crowded hold full of seasick people who have little food and what they have is almost inedible.

Then a hurricane hits the ship but by some miracle the vessel and its passengers survive. When they arrive in the new land they are greeted by the "Pilgrims" who have already settled there and the little family begin to build a new life for themselves.

The most beautiful paintings reminiscent of illustrations created for children's books in past centuries and the simplest of rhyming text beautifully conveys the sheer courage that was needed to make this most extraordinary journey from the Old World to the New.