My Father's Arms Are a Boat

( 1 )

Overview

It's quieter than it's ever been. Unable to sleep, a young boy climbs into his father's arms. Feeling the warmth and closeness of his father, he begins to ask questions about the birds, the foxes, and whether his mom will ever wake up. They go outside under the starry sky. Loss and love are as present as the white spruces, while the father's clear answers and assurances calm his worried son. Here we feel the cycles of life and life's continuity, even in the face of absence and loss, so strongly and clearly that ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$12.37
BN.com price
(Save 22%)$15.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (20) from $5.98   
  • New (14) from $8.98   
  • Used (6) from $5.98   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview

It's quieter than it's ever been. Unable to sleep, a young boy climbs into his father's arms. Feeling the warmth and closeness of his father, he begins to ask questions about the birds, the foxes, and whether his mom will ever wake up. They go outside under the starry sky. Loss and love are as present as the white spruces, while the father's clear answers and assurances calm his worried son. Here we feel the cycles of life and life's continuity, even in the face of absence and loss, so strongly and clearly that we know at the end that everything will, somehow, be all right.

Born in 1953, Stein Erik Lunde has written sixteen books, mostly for children and young adults. His books have been published in many countries. This is his first book to be published in the United States. He also writes lyrics and has translated Bob Dylan into Norwegian. In 2009 My Father's Arms Are A Boat was awarded the Norwegian Ministry's Culture Prize for the Best Book for Children and Youth. The book was also nominated for the 2011 German Children's Literature Award.

Born in 1972, Øyvind Torseter is an artist and one of Norway's most acclaimed illustrators. He employs both traditional and digital picture techniques. Torseter has received numerous prizes for many of his books. In 2011 he received the Norwegian Book Art Prize. For 2012 he has been nominated for the ALMA Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

A 2014 Mildred L. Batchelder Honor Book

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It’s quiet, it’s winter, it’s night, and a boy can’t sleep. He makes his way to the living room, where his father sits, not listening to the radio; he holds his son, and they discuss the birds and foxes outside. “Granny says the red birds are dead people,” the boy tells readers, a line that rings out like a shot. Then the silence and the gaping sense of absence in Torseter’s ink-scratched, cut-paper dioramas become clearer. “Is Mommy asleep?.... She’ll never wake up again?” the boy asks when they go out into the snow to look at the stars. Lunde’s first book to be published in the U.S. doesn’t soften the way that the death of a parent and spouse irrevocably alters life. His writing is lovely in its spareness, but also hard-edged, even in the story’s many moments of tenderness (“We look straight into each other’s eyes. His eyes, black as night, are dark and deep in his face”). Pain is never far from the surface, yet when the boy’s father assures him, “Everything will be all right,” in the final scene, readers will believe him. Ages 4–up. (Feb.)
From the Publisher

2014 Mildred L. Batchelder Honor Book

Brain Pickings' Best Children's, Illustrated, and Picture Books of 2013

"A young boy, grieving and unable to sleep, climbs into his father’s steady arms to find warmth and reassurance in this luminous story about loss, love and healing. [...] A breathtaking masterpiece." -- STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews

"The quiet, intimate text and enigmatic paper-collage and ink illustrations make a world of their own that commends interest beyond the therapeutic." -- STARRED REVIEW, The Horn Book

"This distinctive look at life, death, and grief is beautiful and thought-provoking." -- School Library Journal

"Stunning in its writing and illustration, this is a picture book that is noteworthy and memorable." -- Waking Brain Cells

"The striking, paper-cut-out illustrations add an unforgettable touch to this poignant tale of love, loss and comfort. Highly recommended." -- Midwest Book Review

"[Lunde's] writing is lovely in its spareness, but also hard edged, even in the story's many moments of tenderness. ("We look straight into each other's eyes. His eyes, black as night, are dark and deep in his face.") Pain is never far from the surface, yet when the boy's father assures him, "Everything will be all right," in the final scene, readers will believe him." -- Publishers Weekly

From the Publisher
"A young boy, grieving and unable to sleep, climbs into his father’s steady arms to find warmth and reassurance in this luminous story about loss, love and healing. [...] A breathtaking masterpiece." — STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews

"The quiet, intimate text and enigmatic paper-collage and ink illustrations make a world of their own that commends interest beyond the therapeutic." — STARRED REVIEW, The Horn Book

"This distinctive look at life, death, and grief is beautiful and thought-provoking." — School Library Journal

"Stunning in its writing and illustration, this is a picture book that is noteworthy and memorable." — Waking Brain Cells

"The striking, paper-cut-out illustrations add an unforgettable touch to this poignant tale of love, loss and comfort. Highly recommended." — Midwest Book Review

"[Lunde's] writing is lovely in its spareness, but also hard edged, even in the story's many moments of tenderness. ("We look straight into each other's eyes. His eyes, black as night, are dark and deep in his face.") Pain is never far from the surface, yet when the boy's father assures him, "Everything will be all right," in the final scene, readers will believe him." — Publishers Weekly

Children's Literature - Lisa Colozza Cocca
The simple sketch and cutout illustrations in this book are a perfect match for the quiet, sad, and lyrical text of the story. Originally written in Norwegian, the book tells the tale of a little boy who cannot sleep on a quiet winter night. He goes to his father who is sitting quietly by the fireplace and asks about the birds and the fox and eventually about his departed mother. His father answers the boy's questions clearly and honestly and then wraps him in a coat and carries him outside to see the stars. In sparse text, the book deals with the loss of the boy's mother as a natural event without softening the blow in any way. It depicts the pain of the loss in the father and son clearly, but also shows how the two find comfort in each other. In the end, when the father says, "Everything will be all right," readers are left with a sense of hope that it truly will be. Reviewer: Lisa Colozza Cocca
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—This quiet, melancholy picture book spans a long, lonely night with a boy and his father. Unable to sleep, the youngster climbs into his father's lap and through a conversation that lasts several spreads starts asking about the animals outside: "What about the red birds?" "Are they asleep?" "Is the fox asleep too?" "Is Mommy asleep?" Mommy is asleep and here readers finally learn why this book told from the boy's perspective feels so forlorn-Mommy isn't going to wake up. The cut-paper collage illustrations are somber and ethereal, and the paper-doll details and layouts in black, white, and blues with touches of orange draw children in. After the father carries his son outside to look at the stars, they come back in and comfort each other through the rest of the long night. Neither sleeps, but on the final page, done in warm orange, the father's words offer solace and hope. "'Everything will be all right,' says Daddy." "Are you sure?" "I'm sure." This distinctive look at life, death, and grief is beautiful and thought-provoking.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
A young boy, grieving and unable to sleep, climbs into his father's steady arms to find warmth and reassurance in this luminous story about loss, love and healing. Snow and silence have fallen. A father sits in a darkened room by the fire. His sleepless son, lovingly bundled up, looks out his room's black window. He finds his father, who holds him. They begin to talk, about plans for the next day, about the birds they feed and the foxes that hunt. The father calms his boy's anxious questions with the gentle constant: "Everything will be all right." The boy asks about his mother, and the two go out into the night. The child wishes on a star and is filled with a profound longing. Back inside, the father holds his son until sleep finally comes. Lunde's lyrical text and descriptive language is immediate and intimate. Through it he invokes sensory memories of closeness, warmth and refuge. Torseter's sophisticated artwork brings an even greater emotional depth to the story. Color is used minimally, as the illustrations work in tones. His mixed-media illustrations, done within a 3-D format, like a diorama, have an ethereal quality. They seem grounded in reality, yet they are dreamlike, giving the impression one has been privileged to see someone else's memory. His final spread soars as a wordless affirmation of hope. A breathtaking masterpiece. (Picture book. 4 & up)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592701247
  • Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books
  • Publication date: 2/5/2013
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 368,792
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Stein Erik Lunde: Born in 1953, Stein Erik Lunde has written 16 books, mostly for children and young adults. His books have been published in Sweden, Denmark, The Faroe Islands, Germany and France. This is his first book to be published in the United States. He also has written lyrics for more than a hundred songs and has translated Bob Dylan into Norwegian. Over the past 14 years, Lunde’s books have received many awards. In 2009, My Father’s Arms Are A Boat was awarded the Norwegian Ministry’s Culture Prize for the Best Book for Children & Youth.
My Father’s Arms Are A Boat was also nominated for the 2011 German Children’s Literature Award (Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis).

Øyvind Torseter: Born in 1972, Øyvind Torseter is an artist and one of Norway’s most acclaimed illustrators. He employs both traditional and digital picture techniques and has made five picture books on his own and several together with different authors. Torseter has received numerous prizes for his books, including the Bologna Ragazzi Award, the Norwegian Ministry of Culture’s prize for the Best Book for Children and Youth (for 5 different books, including this one), and the “Most Beautiful Book Award” for best picture book, also for five different books. In 2011, he received the Norwegian Book Art Prize. For 2012, he has been nominated for the ALMA Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

Kari Dickson: Translator.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 13, 2014

    This hauntingly stunning book takes on a very difficult subject

    This hauntingly stunning book takes on a very difficult subject matter that many families find hard to understand or even talk about because the pain is so deep.  A little grieving boy, unable to settle down to sleep seeks out his dad, crawls up in his arms and together they talk about why mom is not there any more and why she will never wake up and come home.  The little boy asks many questions about the animals outside and he worries if the birds will get the bread he left them. By the end of the book the little boy has gotten the love and support of beloved dad and is assured all will be well both in nature and in their home.  The topic is beautifully written and the paper-cut illustrations perfectly fit the tone and mood of the story. The illustrations give each scene the feel of a diaorama. 




    This gentle, touching story should be read before hand so you can prepare for the related "conversation" that will certainly follow.  Both the author and the illustrator are from Norway and I am so glad the book was translated and sent here for us to enjoy.  

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)