Title: Ocean Wide, Ocean Deep
Author: Susan Lendroth
Illustrator: Raúl Allén
Publisher: Tricycle Press
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level: 4.0
Concepts: international trade, jobs
Review: A father has gone on a business trip to China, and his daughter yearns for his return. Because this story takes place during the 1800s, the father’s voyage on sea lasts a good year, and he is unable to communicate with family members back home. He has gone to China to make deals for colorful silks, willowware porcelain, beautiful jade, and teak wood, all considered valuable treasures by the traders and well worth the time at sea. At home, his daughter watches the seasons change and her baby brother grow bigger while she waits for her father to come walking up the lane.
This poignant story does an excellent job communicating the sadness and hope associated with missing a parent who is far away. Woven into the story is an important economics lesson about jobs and trade. The pencil and watercolor illustrations are absolutely stunning and further contribute to the book’s timeless and international ambiance.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children