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Peter's Place Library Binding – June 1, 1996
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2?The special seaside spot that Peter considers his own is fouled by an oil slick from a ship that comes too close to shore and breaks apart on hidden rocks. The animals that the boy knows so well and often feeds-the seals and eider ducks-have difficulty surviving after their fur and feathers become coated with oil. Peter joins in rescue activities, scrubbing away oily deposits from the rocky shoreline. Eventually, through human effort and the natural scrubbing action of wind, rain and the ocean, the sea begins to restore itself to a balanced state. Peter's favorite animals do survive, but reminders of the accident remain. Grindley's affecting story proves its point: that oil spills can have long-lasting effects, forever changing the places we hold dear. Although the book has moments that verge on anthropomorphism, this fact in no way detracts from its point or its impact. Foreman's powerful watercolor illustrations use lots of blues and greens to capture the expanse of ocean that fill every double-page spread. Although one picture of a wide-eyed, oil-covered seal tugs at the heart, the artist generally avoids overdramatization of a story that is already infused with excitement. Adults using this book will find lots here to stimulate discussion. Other picture-book treatments of the effects of oil spills on the natural world include Jacqueline Briggs Martin's Birdwashing Song (S & S, 1995) and Gloria Rand's Prince William (Holt, 1992).?Ellen Fader, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 4^-8. An incident that's achingly familiar today is personalized in a quietly told disaster story. Peter's place is a windswept ocean beach, full of the life of otters, crabs, fish, ducks, and other creatures. Then an oil tanker passing too closely is wrecked on the rocks, and slick blackness spills everywhere. Foreman's watercolors capture the wide view of the seacoast and the fragility of its wildlife. The pictures show individual animals matted with oil: a dying young seal shivering in the waves, a duck that Peter cradles and rescues. Slowly he helps a team hose and scrub away the sticky slime, and over days and months the elements clean the oil away--most of it. Peter knows there are "ugly black scars that can never be washed away," but the last pictures show the boy a part of the land and sea that are restored and full of life. Hazel Rochman
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Top customer reviews
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Children's books, which push a strong message, can sometimes go over the top and be less than convincing. This story however, is told well without being strident and lecturing.
"Peter's Place" gives us an unashamedly powerful environmental message. Oil tankers that run aground can cause serious harm to the marine environment.
The power of Michael Foreman's illustrations, as in all good children's picture books, delivers at least fifty percent of the value. They portray the spectacular wild beauty of the Cornish (?) coastline.
The atmospherics are intense, focussing on the power of the sea. That line between the ocean and the land is a fragile interface. It is where the activities of man can have the most impact. The shipwreck of a tanker is the key event.
Young Peter loves his coast and the wildlife that lives there. His rescue of the oil-covered eider ducks is the most touching moment in the book.
The coast recovers and life goes on. The duck brings his family along to meet Peter. The survival instincts of nature triumph. Thankfully, doom-laden catastrophe scenarios, often portrayed by proselytizing eco-warriors, haven't overly influenced this book.
The most important message in the book is not the evils of oil tankers, but the tenacity of life. The last words in the book are powerful "... this ruthless land's end is full of life".
This attractive book will appeal to all children