Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tofino Books: The Oyster Who Looked at the Sky

Although not specifically about Tofino, this book is certainly about the west coast. It was created, though, by two Tofino residents — writer Darcy Dobell and artist Marion Syme. (Full disclosure — both good friends of mine.) And, oh, we do love our oysters here, so a book about an oyster with an adventurous spirit is right up our alley and a perfect read before, during or after a visit to the coast.

The book begins:

That summer day
down at the pebbly end of the beach
the smallest oyster was in trouble again.

"Close your shell," scolded the other
oysters. "You'll get all warm and dry."

"I want to look," said the smallest oyster.

"Oysters aren't supposed to look," said
Great-Great-Grandmother oyster.

"But I want to look," said the smallest oyster,
"I need to see!"

And so the adventure begins with our non-conformist oyster. (He/She would fit right in here.)

Here's Oolichan Books's blurb about this title:

Gentle humour characterizes this story of a wilful small oyster who breaks with family tradition in order to remain true to her own adventurous nature. As she discovers the world around her, and gradually inspires her family to see it for themselves, young readers will delight in a series of playful shifts in perspective that ultimately bring the small oyster's big vision back home. Beautifully illustrated with vibrant artwork that evokes all the magic of the West Coast, this book celebrates the natural curiosity of children in a way that will inspire readers of all ages to see the everyday world as an extraordinary ground for imagination and transformation.

I think my favourite part of this book is the inspiration to look at the world from our little oyster's perspective - "we are at the top of the ocean...and at the bottom of the sky."

You can find this book locally at Wildside Booksellers and Mermaid Tales.

And here's a blurb from when the book was launched locally in 2008.

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