Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Across a Dark and Wild Sea: a book review



Published by Roaring Brook Press, Hardcover, 32 pages.

This children’s book, written and illustrated by Don Brown was added to our home library in 2009 and is proving to be a favorite choice at bedtime. This is my favorite kind of children’s book: educational for the adult- with a full page of author’s notes- as well as the child with watercolor illustrations on each page to aid the story. The artwork is aptly suited to this tale in the midst of the Dark Ages, lending a sense of the precarious life by the sea in 6th century Ireland.

The story is about one of Ireland’s revered saints, Columcille (Kolum kil), which means “Dove of the Churches”; he is also known by the Latin form of his name, Columba. It is Columcille that founded the famous monastery on Iona and kindled the love of Christ among the native Picts.

Across A Dark and Wild Sea taught me something new about Columcille; his love of books and diligent work as a scribe. My kids & I both enjoyed the detailed information regarding how manuscripts were made in the 6th century. It gave us pause to consider a world without easy access to books and information and the sense of achievement one must have had after spending months -or even years- copying a cherished manuscript. I appreciated the author differentiating bits of legend from history and think it’s a great addition to a home or church library; particularly well suited for children aged 7 to 12 years.

3 comments:

aviendha1979 said...

Thanks for the recommendation. We'll have to pick this one up.

-Kh. Nicole

DebD said...

Yes, thanks for the recommendation. It looks lovely.

GretchenJoanna said...

I haven't seen this book, but I just now ordered a copy. Thanks!

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