The Sea Chest


This is the retelling of a fictional story from the 1800s. Maita, the daughter of a lighthouse keeper, tells her great-grandniece about how her sister Seaborne arrived wrapped in a sea chest. Now, that same sea chest is part of the niece's family.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

This is destined to become a favorite story. It has the elements that make kids come back: happy endings, mystery & discovery, and love. The illustrations—done in oil—truly enhance the beauty of the book.

Content Awareness Factors:

It’s hard to find any. The book’s quality is such that you don’t want little hands to play with it. While you’ll want to keep it on a shelf to protect it, keep it in reach, because you’ll probably have to read it frequently!

Little Kid Reaction

As a toddler, our daughter liked the pictures. Now, almost nine, our daughter uses the book when she wants a comforting, soothing read. She also picks it when adoption is on her mind and she's trying to sort out what makes a family.

Parent Reaction

A beautiful story that explains adoption without hitting the child over the head with the concept like many other books do. The narrative style allows the reader to embrace the idea, and not walk away saying “but that’s not how I was adopted.” Instead, you enjoy its uniqueness, sense the joy of Seaborne’s arrival, and share in the excitement of the baby soon to arrive.

Type of Book:
This is a fictional tale, based on an old Maine legend.
Educational Themes:

It’s a great story for explaining that there is no one way to become a family. It also shows that to be adopted is to participate in a miracle of love.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
10 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
4 to 8
Age of child:
First read with child 19 months old, still reading at almost 9 years old.
Purchase Recommendation:
BUY IT. This is one that’s destined to be part of a child’s permanent collection, even for those who aren’t adopted.

Title The Sea Chest
Author Toni Buzzeo
Publisher Dial Books, Imprint Penguin Young Readers Group © 2002
Illustrators Mary GrandPre
ISBN 0803727038
Material Hard Cover
Genres Family, Fable | Folklore
Reminder: Cover images, and links are affiliate links. The Reading Tub can earn income via purchases made via these links. 100% of any income goes directly to our literacy mission.
Other Reviews:

You May Also Like...

Check out these books you may also like


Karen Katz
Henry Holt and Company © 1997


Virginia Kroll
Concept Books © 1994


Linda Walvoord Girard
Albert Whitman & Company © 1986