Friday 21 August 2020

Annie Lumsden, The Girl from the Sea

Annie Lumsden, The girl from the Sea
by David Almond Illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna (Walker Books UK) ISBN 9781406377590  HC RRP $18.99 

Reviewed by Claire Stuckey

Annie Lumsden and her mum live on the water’s edge on Stupor Beach. Annie tells us that she is going to share her story which commences in short clear sentences, almost how a child would speak and write. Her mam is a storyteller who paints faces rocks and shares pretend conversations with the characters she crafts. We then discover that Annie has a problem: she “falls down”. Annie also has a great deal of trouble with letters and numbers so after lengthy appointments the doctors give up and Annie returns to her happy life on the beach and in the water. Her intimate relationship with the sea is woven into a tale by her mother who shares a tale of the visit of a mysterious man indicating that this is her father. On this day she sees a fin growing from her back.  

A passing stranger called Benn photographs the pair on the beach, shares an evening at the Slippery Eel pub, and returns for breakfast with the photos. Is Annie from the sea or does the tale open a doorway to change as she begins her thirteenth year? 

Interesting illustrations by Alemanga, a highly awarded European artist, compliment the text. Full washes of blue and green contrast with her mother’s bright red hair and the simple outline of the human form. There is so much to share in this story that each person will enjoy this magical tale in different ways. 

David Almond has created another fascinating story to share with children 9 years and over. 


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