Title: OFF AND AWAY
Author: Cale Atkinson
Pub. Date: June 5, 2018
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
How would you get mail if you lived in the middle of the sea? It’s Jo’s dad’s job to deliver it, taking bottles wherever they need to go. He always comes home with exciting stories to tell-but Jo is far too afraid to go out on the ocean herself. Until Dad gets a bad sea cold, that is. With no one but Jo to deliver the bottles, she must find her courage and set sail alone. As she embarks on her mission, her fears just might be replaced with new friendships . . . and grand stories of her own.
With beautiful, atmospheric art and endearing new characters by author-illustrator Cale Atkinson, this picture book is a treasure.
This book is an adorable tale of a little girl and her father who delivers bottles to the residents of the sea. Jo is scared of what might be out there, but she loves to hear her father tell her stories about it. When her father comes down with a sea cold, Jo sees the bottles starting to pile up. She realizes that it is up to her to get the bottles out to the residents of the sea, and so she has to start off on an adventure of her own.
Let me start off by saying that this is the first picture book that I have had the opportunity to review, and this definitely did not disappoint. For starters, the art. The art in this book was adorable, yet beautifully detailed at the same time. Every page gave me another beautiful image full of vibrant colors. I found myself showing the book to my family, just so that they could see how pretty the art was!
Secondly, I was happy that this is a diverse picture book. So few picture books have characters that come from different cultures or backgrounds, but this one proudly advertises a brown girl and her father. This would allow even more children who read this book to relate to the main character!
Even though this was just a fun picture book, there were several morals in this story. Jo thinks that monsters live in the ocean and so she has to overcome this fear to do her father’s job. This teaches bravery. She also learns in this book that the “monsters” she feared so much were actually quite friendly creatures. She also learns how to be independent by going off on her own without the help of her father, and succeeding on her mission.
This has been one of the most rich picture books that I have ever read, and I will definitely be re-reading it a few times just to admire the amazing art and story. Even if you are an adult, take a break and relax by reading this book!
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new picture book with morals and amazing art, or anyone looking for a relaxing story.
Overall Rating: 6/5
Cale Atkinson is an illustrator/writer/animator currently residing in Kelowna Canada. Believing in tea more than sleep, Cale is constantly working on numerous projects. His work can be found in children’s books, animated shorts, television, and games.
Cale’s always looking for new and exciting projects that challenge his skills and allow him to grow creatively.
Disney Hyperion, Marvel, Tundra books (imprint of Penguin Random House), OWL Books, Grosset and Dunlap (Penguin), Disney.com, Pearson, American Greetings, Hyper Hippo Games, Lerner Books, Scholastic.
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