See the Ocean

Estelle Condra, Author, Linda Crockett-Blassingame, Illustrator
Estelle Condra, Author, Linda Crockett-Blassingame, Illustrator Ideals Publishing Company $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-57102-005-5
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-57102-178-6
Hardcover - 978-1-59093-067-0
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-9778143-0-5
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Despite an overwrought climax, this debut effort for author and artist manages to distill some truths about growing up blind. Nellie enjoys her family's annual trips to the ocean. She feeds crumbs to the seagulls, tosses pebbles into ponds, handles seashells and driftwood. There is no explicit reference to her blindness until the end, when she claims to be able to see the ocean through a thick mist. For three precocious paragraphs, she rhapsodizes: ``The ocean is an old, old man born at the beginning of time.... When the sun shines, he laughs and gurgles and prattles in the rock pools....'' One of her brothers complains about Nellie's report (``She can't even see!""), but their mother concludes: ``Though your sister's eyes are blind, she can see with her mind.'' However ham-handed the dialogue, this title's tone of normalcy, its realistic family dynamics and its moody, streaky oil paintings may be enough to win over readers curious about life without sight. Ages 5-8. (Aug.)
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