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In a Village by the Sea
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In a Village by the Sea

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  581 Ratings  ·  159 Reviews
Written in a spare, lyrical style using fresh, evocative imagery, In a Village by the Sea tells the story of longing for the comforts of home. A perfect book for teaching about diverse cultures and lifestyles through rich pictures and words, moving from the wide world to the snugness of home and back out again.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 12th 2015 by Creston Books
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We talk a lot about wanting a diverse selection of picture books on our library, bookstore, and home shelves, but it seems to me that the key to giving kids a broad view of the wider world (which is the ultimate effect of reading literature about people outside your immediate social, economic, and racial circle) is finding books that go into formerly familiar territory and then give the final product an original spin. For example, I was just telling a colleague the other day that true diverse li ...more
N.N. Light
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a sweet story with incredible illustrations. Highly recommend this one!

My Rating: 5+ stars
I'd So Rather Be Reading {Nat}
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
In A Village By the Sea is a very unique and beautiful book. Kaitlyn really enjoyed it and so did I.

The illustrations make this book so beautiful and fun to read. As we read the book for the first time, I found myself looking forward to what each new page would hold. I especially liked the cricket's paintings, even though I didn't completely understand his role in the story. And maybe I wasn't meant to fully comprehend the seemingly prophetic cricket---it certainly didn't seem to bother Kaitlyn
The luminous illustrations in this picture book portray life in a small fishing village perfectly. The story moves from the sea where the boats are searching for fish to a house where the inhabitants are waiting for one fisherman's return. I loved how the story moves in and out from the house on the hill to the fisherman waiting out a storm so he can return home. The text and the illustrations capture perfectly the longing the family has to be reunited. The expressive eyes of the family dog and ...more
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A fisherman sails off, leaving his village in pursuit of a day's catch. But with each page turn, the narrator carries the story deeper, revealing the home he leaves behind, a wife and child waiting for his return. The family dog leads readers to a grasshopper hidden in the walls, painting a sea scape eventually circling back to the fisherman. In this layer-upon-layer narrative told in sparse text and rich illustrations, Van and Chu present a story of family and home, and the longing for both.
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A doorway into the world of a family living on the other side of the globe. Interesting perspectives of the different family members and other inhabitants of the house. Short, poetic text goes well with vast pictures.
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
A remarkable picture book with spare, poetic text and a strong visual narrative, by a Vietnamese American author and illustrator, that is whole, complete; and also serves as a tool for cross-cultural appreciation.
It is a fabulous book, to read the words, to see what happens, and to enjoy the surprises. I won't say more!
Barb Middleton
I wrote one of the blurbs on the back of the book.
Jennifer Alvarez
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lovely pictures! Sweet, imaginative story. Dramatic too. I loved it!
Benji Martin
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very interesting.
Annie Do
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was one of the easiest reads I have ever read, yet one of the most heartfelt book I have ever read. The story revolves around a small house by the village, and inside the house lives a mom, a baby, a dog, and a little cricket. By the end of the story, we see a fisherman traveling out at sea, hoping that the storm could end so that he could go home to his family. The pictures he pulled out from his pocket was of the mom, the baby, the dog, and the little cricket.
I really connected with
Ramon Requena
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 230
This story follows a fisherman and his family in a small house. It is then discovered that the house is in a painting, which shows the same thing, thus giving the same continuous images in paintings. This story presents a fun mystery of perspective and reality.
The media used is colored pencil with computer-based drawings. The art very detailed and sharp that the whole book looks of expensive material. All of the art takes over every page so the story is very engrossing.
This book is very interest
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: story-time
Written in limited, but descriptive text with gorgeous illustrations this book shares the familial story of Muon Van and many other Vietnamese Families who reside In a Village by the Sea.

I thoroughly enjoyed April Chu's illustrations. They so beautifully depict a life that is foreign to many in the Western World. Naomi carries her sketchbook everywhere and is enthralled and inspired by April Chu's style. She noted, "Mom, the water drawn on the front inside cover, in the cricket's painting and d
Stephanie Bange
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I first read this in 2015, I thought it was one of the most exquisite books published that year.

This is the story of one day in the life of a Vietnamese fisherman and his family. Van's spare, lyrical text dances off the page. It is well-matched with Chu's culturally-rich illustrations. At times, they are dreamy, others crisp and crystal clear.

In so many ways, this book reminds me of Audrey & Don Wood's The Napping House, succeeding in the same ways. The simplicity of text makes it a p
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't know quite what it is about this story that makes me love it so much. It's some combination of the innovative fractal narrative (as you zoom farther and farther in, you wind up back at the big picture where you started), and really getting what the father, in the boat in the storm, is feeling as he thinks about getting home to his family. My daughter (age two now) likes this book somewhat, and I hope that she'll let me read it to her enough times that she comes to appreciate some of what ...more
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The illustrations here are beautiful. They're detailed and realistic, and they do justice to all of the sea, the house, the people, the food, the dog, and the cricket. The illustrations convey both a lot of movement and a sense of peace.

This has the feeling of a cumulative rhyme without actually doing all the repetition; it just keeps the pattern. But it circles on itself a bit because there's nesting/recursion in the story and the illustrations.
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is very peculiar. With this, it has the power of inciting utmost curiosity but also reflection of life. As it brings magic it also splashes reality in droplets hard to swallow on further interpretations by an adult. Dealing with life from a very young age is a privilege and part of a good upbringing. It is one way of approaching things as they are: part of life. The narrative is unconventional and for that, all the more surprising and captivating. The rich illustrations provide the rea ...more
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure what category this book fits in. The illustrations are quite beautiful, and show what I imagine would be an idealized view of a Vietnamese village. It was written and illustrated by a woman who was born in Vietnam, but raised in the US. It almost has a lullaby feel to it, with short, circular text. The child character was a baby, so is it intended to be a baby book?
Kari Whitesell
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful illustrations, touching sentiments. The story told through the eyes of those waiting in the village (the fisherman's family), and a little of the perspective of the fisherman, who misses his family.
Ally Lindley
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I like how this story builds onto itself and connects together in the end. I think it would be a great book for children to help them identify the connections in the book.
Rosa Cline
Jun 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, kids
This was beautifully written and even more so beautifully illustrated. Written in a 'round' story where it ends where it starts. Talking about family and love for one another. Precious story.
Edward Sullivan
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A stunning, evocatively illustrated circular story that makes amazing use of perspective.
May 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Simple in text but rich in images and the theme of home and family within an Asian-Vietnamese context.
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Beautiful illustrations
Simple, spare, & lovely - with absolutely lush illustrations.
Callie Manias
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book, family
Cute, simple, repetitive, talks about family values
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Beautiful illustrations but the part with the painting cricket just didn't make sense to me.
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is so beautiful I didn't expect it to also be quirky and humorous. I absolutely adored the sparse poetic language giving way to the miraculous inversion of space with the revelation of the cricket under the floor boards. It was heartwarming and magical and the tiny painter made us giggle in growing intrigue.
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