To Know The Sea


Princess Isola is unhappy. As a result, everyone in the kingdom is unhappy, too. Isola wants only one thing: to experience the sea. But no one knows how to bring the sea to the mountain kingdom. When the queen offers a reward for the first person to bring the Sea to the Princess, several men try to do just that. Will any of them succeed?

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

This is a refreshing fairy tale that mimics some of the classics. There are lessons to be learned, creative thinking and problem solving, and not a sword or a gun to be seen.

Content Awareness Factors:

None, with the exception of the tantrum in the beginning.

Little Kid Reaction

Our child paged through this book several times, and was reticent to let us read it. She was put off by the snarling sisters, and didn't want us to read a story about people acting ugly. Even after we convinced her to learn the whole story, she was concerned about how the sisters acted. When asked what she liked about the story, she said "The old man, because he helped the princess."

Parent Reaction

Hooray! A story about a princess that doesn't come from Disney, has her own dreams, thinks for herself, and has no Disney princess association. We were a little surprised by our child's reaction to the illustrations. The sneering sisters are the "background" of the graphics; but clearly, she was taking in the whole scene.

Type of Book:
This is a picture book that encourages kids to stay faithful to their dream ... and not close any paths, even if they seem to be
Educational Themes:

There are lots of ways to play with this story, because it has several levels. It shows the importance of being true to your dreams, but it also demonstrates that reaching your goal may not (a) be the path you envisioned; or (b) look the way you thought it would. There is an excellent lesson about the learning that goes into becoming an "expert" is great, as well. We often think of practice and athletics; but this book introduces the learning required of true seafarers, too.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
5 to 10
Recommended Age To Read Together:
4 to 8
Age of child:
Started reading with 5½-year-old child.
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow, at least. For parents who want to raise princesses who think for themselves, aren't swayed by the crowd, then this is a nice alternative.

Title To Know the Sea
Author Frances Gilbert
Publisher Greene Bark Press © 2000
Illustrators Rhett Ransom Pennell
ISBN 1880851601
Material Hard Cover
Genres Nature, Fairy Tale
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