Annie Lumsden, the Girl from the Sea

David Almond, Beatrice Alemagna

Annie Lumsden, the Girl from the Sea
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Annie Lumsden, the Girl from the Sea

David Almond, Beatrice Alemagna

A magical story about finding your identity from one of the most acclaimed storytellers of his generation, richly illustrated in full colour by an internationally renowned artist.

My mother says that all things can be turned to tales. I thought she meant tales like fish tails, but I was wrong. She meant tales like this, tales that are stories. But this tale of mine is very like a fish tail too…

Annie has never been like the other girls. Her mam tried sending her to school when she was small, but Annie couldn’t seem to make words or numbers stick. She prefers instead to be swimming in the sea, or sunbathing on the shore at Stupor Beach, her head full of tales. She should have been a fish, her mam always tells her, and Annie knows the truth of it.

Then a stranger who comes to town is struck by the beauty and the wonder of her, and Annie Lumsden realizes that perhaps she really is half a creature from the sea.

Review

This is a beautifully tender coming-of-age story of unconditional love and acceptance, difference and belonging, of finding our place in the world, our connection with all living things and ultimately, what it is to be human.

Annie is different, a puzzle to medical science, and struggles to fit in; school is especially difficult for her. But her mother’s gift for storytelling stimulates a curiosity for the natural environment that leads Annie to a larger world where she truly belongs.

David Almond’s thought-provoking, sensitive tale is as broad and as deep as the ocean it evokes and Beatrice Alemagna’s vivid, playful illustrations enrich the mystery and wonder on every page. Together they capture the elusive innocence of childhood and the beauty of nature with a magical realism that beckons the reader to dive in and interpret Annie’s world.

This book (like much of Almond’s exquisite work) defies categorisation and Alemagna’s captivating illustrations ensure this special gift will charm both children and adults alike. Highly recommended for ages 9+.


Athina Clarke is the children’s book buyer at Readings Malvern.

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