Ocean Meets Sky by the Fan Brothers
In Sunday's New York Times Book Review, actor and author John Lithgow reviewed four picture books about grandparents. One of the books, the magnificent Drawn Together by Minh Lȇ and Dan Santat, I had reviewed earlier in the month, but the other three I had scheduled or waiting to be reviewed, so I decided to bundle them like Lithgow did! Look for reviews of the other two books this week.
Ocean Meets Sky is the second picture book authored and illustrated by The Fan Brothers, who have an illustration style that evokes the work of Shaun Tan and David Wiesner. Their work is lush with imagination and creativity, inviting readers to see around and beyond what is right in front of them.
Missing his grandfather, Finn remembers stories he told him about a place, "far away where the ocean meets sky." To honor him on what would have been his 90th birthday, Finn builds a boat out of found objects and prepares to set sail, but first he takes a nap.
Setting sail in his dreams, Finn begins his journey, which he quickly learns is a lonely one. But, he catches the attention of a great golden fish who offers to show Finn the way to where ocean meets sky. Past the Library Islands and on to explore shells as big as mountains, they finally reach that magical place. Where ocean meets sky, ships, submarines and sea creatures can fly alongside blimps and hot air balloons, and even a floating castle, depicted over two two page spreads, the forms of transport becoming more and more fanciful. Before his journey ends, Finn sees his grandfather's face, shining out from a full moon.
The Fan brothers tell their visual story with a glowing warmth and myriad magical details. While the message of the comfort of memory and connections made from storytelling are the backbone of Ocean Meets Sky, the journey through the illustrations and the unforgettable imagery are what will linger long after you read this book.
For another fantastic picture book about boats, grandpas, and passing on, this is a lovely, magical story about connection, love and saying goodbye.
More books by the Fan Brothers
Source: Review Copy