The Fish House Door

( 2 )

Overview


Shawn comes from a long line of island lobstermen. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather have all hauled traps, baited pockets, painted buoys, and cleaned their brushes on the door of the same fish house for decades. To Shawn, it's just a weathered old piece of wood with broken hinges. But when an art dealer comes to visit, he gives Shawn a new perspective on the fish house door, and a fresh look at the people and traditions that have shaped his past and will chart his future. The Fish House Door, ...
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Overview


Shawn comes from a long line of island lobstermen. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather have all hauled traps, baited pockets, painted buoys, and cleaned their brushes on the door of the same fish house for decades. To Shawn, it's just a weathered old piece of wood with broken hinges. But when an art dealer comes to visit, he gives Shawn a new perspective on the fish house door, and a fresh look at the people and traditions that have shaped his past and will chart his future. The Fish House Door, illustrated by rising star Astrid Sheckels, won the 2010 Moonbeam Award (Gold Medal) for Best Picture Book in the All Ages category.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Robert F. Baldwin, the author of this children's book, first heard the story of the fish house door while he and his wife were vacationing in Maine. He treasured this tale about a weathered old wood so much that he refashioned into a fetching children's book. Award-winning illustrator Astrid Sheckels contributed the visual accompaniment to Baldwin's supple fiction.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934031308
  • Publisher: Islandport Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/3/2010
  • Pages: 36
  • Sales rank: 1,329,387
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Robert F. Baldwin (1934-2007) was a modern day troubadour, singing, playing the banjo, and collecting and telling stories wherever he went. Born in Norfolk, Virginia, he attended twelve grade schools and the excitement of exploring new places stayed with him all his life. His articles and stories about the sea, the people who work on it, and the creatures that live in it have appeared in Sea Frontiers, Down East, Offshore, Maine Boats and Harbors, and Yankee. His children's books include New England Whaler: This is the Sea That Feeds Us and Cities Through Time: Beijing. After living in Virginia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Iowa, he settled in Newcastle, Maine, where he first heard the story of the fish house door.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Gorgeous illustrations, sweet story

    Illustrated by Astrid Sheckels





    The Fish House Door by Robert F. Baldwin is a vivid glance at small time life by the shore in Maine. The story has surprising depth for a children's book: it explores moments of quiet companionship between father and son, as well as a gentle message about what defines beauty and value.




    In it, a young boy helps his father, an experienced lobster man, in their family business. They work on their own dock, and spend time maintaining their equipment as well as catching lobsters. On the dock, a Fish House holds their tools, and over time the Fish House door has acquired the patina of weathered wood accented by the odd brush of leftover paint and scribbled notes. As an everyday object, it became nearly invisible to them. And yet, when a wealthy tourist catches sight of the door, he recognizes the iconic value as a decorating item-something unique with a distressed finish that would appear stylish in a city loft.




    Despite the need for money, the boy and his father realize that family history is contained in the notes and colors of the door. They recognize it has a value beyond money, and now that it is pointed out to them, they come to appreciate its beauty as well. They decline to sell it, despite the urgings and generous offer by the tourist. The story is sweet, unique, and never gets preachy.




    A major shout-out is in order for the illustrations of Astrid Sheckels. She bases her paintings on actual photos, which is significant, as it creates images that are more true and detailed than many children's books. The expressions on the faces look real, not an approximation. It ties in well to the story of the dock and the sea, and her colors and composition are gorgeous. Instead of flat depictions, every crease, chip, shadow, and bit of woodgrain is revealed.




    Lastly, this is from Islandport Press, so it's several steps above a typical childrens book. I fell in love with their books when I read Dahlov Ipcar's The Cat at Night, a gorgeous edition that is of heirloom quality. The heavy duty archival paper, the matte pictures, and the feel of their books lasts through many readings and will serve as something that I can pass on to my grandkids. The Fish House Door is no different. Islandport puts more quality into their product than most of the mass-produced titles I've seen. And yes, this was a review copy, but I was writing about their books long before I was invited to review for them. As a matter of fact, The Cat at Night is my go-to baby shower gift, because it's suitable for any small child. In the case of my toddler, he enjoys looking and discussing the picturess, as at three-years-old, we aren't yet to the point of reading all the text yet. We create our own stories based on the illustrations, and as he gets older I'm sure he'll enjoy the story as much as I did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2010

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