Dawn Watch

Dawn Watch

by Jean E. Pendziwol, Nicolas Debon
     
 

This lyrical picture book tells the story of a child and her father making a night crossing of Lake Superior on their sailboat. As first mate, the child’s job is to watch for ships, lights, land and logs while the autopilot steers the craft. Above, the Big Dipper, North Star, Milky Way and Northern Lights illuminate an inky night sky. And as dawn breaks, the

Overview


This lyrical picture book tells the story of a child and her father making a night crossing of Lake Superior on their sailboat. As first mate, the child’s job is to watch for ships, lights, land and logs while the autopilot steers the craft. Above, the Big Dipper, North Star, Milky Way and Northern Lights illuminate an inky night sky. And as dawn breaks, the horizon begins to glow and land appears, a black line between sky and sea. Striking illustrations by Nicolas Debon capture the excitement, mystery and beauty of this nighttime adventure on the world’s largest freshwater lake.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Navigating Lake Superior in the darkest hours of night provides adventure for a brave little girl and her dad. Well prepared for her responsibilities, the young narrator explains to readers the importance of watching for hazards such as other ships, and floating logs that may be lost on the inland sea. Dad points out to his assistant celestial markers such as the Big Dipper and the North Star. After tending to his duties, Dad goes below and the diminutive sailor has the midnight sea to herself. Debon's use of motion, depth, and pitch of waves is impressive as readers become a part of the eerily lonely voyage. Pendziwol accompanies the swell of the water by repeating the line, "And I was alone on the sea." A powerful story of water, night, and dawning light, this is a memorable tale with sparse text and almost sinister illustrations. This volume has value as a father-daughter story, a sailing narrative, and perhaps most importantly as an example of the way an artist creates mood with just the stroke of a brush. 2004, Groundwood, Ages 8 to 10.
—Janice DeLong
Kirkus Reviews
Dawn watch is the last watch on a sailboat when the sky seems darkest, the waves seem biggest, and you wonder why you're out there. Pendziwol evokes this memory of that emotional time as a young girl on a sail with her father. Does much happen? Not unless you count the awesome isolation of being on deck or bright comfort of sighting the North Star, which has guided sailors for centuries. Or the awesomely magnificent undulations of the Northern Lights. Or the imagining of dragons at sea turning into a huge freighter about to run the boat over. And then finally the glow of dawn over a cup of hot chocolate with dad. Quiet pleasures, but important ones in a sailboat at sea. Debon, with his chromatic chiaroscuro paintings, has clearly been there too, as he complements this story in perfect trim. (Picture book. 5-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780888995124
Publisher:
Groundwood Books
Publication date:
10/10/2004
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.24(w) x 7.64(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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