Stories from the Sea

Stories from the Sea

by James Riordan, Amanda Hall
     
 

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The danger and adventure of the sea are captured in nine traditional children's stories from a variety of world cultures.

With its sheer power and unpredictable moods, the sea is held in special regard by all cultures. It can be hugely destructive, yet men and women have placed their homes upon its shores and been fed by it; for the merchant it has always been the

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Overview

The danger and adventure of the sea are captured in nine traditional children's stories from a variety of world cultures.

With its sheer power and unpredictable moods, the sea is held in special regard by all cultures. It can be hugely destructive, yet men and women have placed their homes upon its shores and been fed by it; for the merchant it has always been the means to reach other lands, to trade goods and gain experience, to invent and adapt new kinds of ocean-going vessels; and it has brought nations together, making them feel part of the greater world and teaching them respect for the customs of others.

This collection of folk tales from around the world is set in and around the sea. Some stories, such as Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid," are well known. Some-such as "Why the Sea is Salty"-pose age-old questions; others cast up all kinds of good and evil sea spirits-mermaids, giants, sea gods, and water nymphs. Brimming with mystery, excitement and adventure, all of these tales are linked by an awe and respect for the sea's majesty and power-a feeling which is shared by people the world over.

The Abbeville Anthology series for children features adventurous and enlightening stories rooted in the traditions of many world cultures. Each explores a different theme, and opens up new worlds of wonder. Other books in this captivating series include Mother and Daughter Tales and Stories from the Stars. Meant to be read aloud to youngsters or read independently by older children, these collections will find a permanent place on your family's bookshelf!

Other Details: Full-color illustrations on every page 80 pages 8 1/2 x 8 1/2" Published 1998

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Amanda Hall's distinctive illustrations also brighten Stories from the Sea: An Abbeville Anthology by James Riordan: waves in watery colors decorate the bottom of every page, along with ships, mysterious sea creatures and other motifs from the nine folktales. The stories, which tell of such creatures as love-struck sea maidens or explain how the sea became salty, stem from a wide range of maritime cultures, including Celtic, Senegalese, Vietnamese and Siberian.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780789202826
Publisher:
Abbeville Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/01/1996
Series:
Abbeville Anthology Ser.
Pages:
80
Product dimensions:
8.89(w) x 10.73(h) x 0.55(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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Foreword

This collection of tales from around the world is set in and around the sea. Some stories are well known, like Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" and the Arabian "Sinbad the Sailor" from "The Thousand and One Nights." Some—such as "The Flood" and "Why the Sea is Salty"—pose age-old questions; others cast up a variety of good and evil sea spirits—mermaids, sea gods and selkies.

These stories of the sea cross vast oceans—the Indian Ocean ("Sinbad the Sailor"), the Arctic Ocean ("The Old Man of the Sea"), the Pacific ("The Precious Pearl"), and the Atlantic ("The Flood"); they wash into mighty seas like the Baltic off the coasts of Denmark and Finland ("The Little Mermaid" and "Why the Sea is Salty"), and the North Sea that surrounds the Orkneys ("The Selkie Wife"); they course into river mouths off the west coast of Africa ("Hine-moa").

The sea seems to hold a special place in all cultures; for many peoples there is no other feature of nature that they so vividly depict in their tales. And for good reason: the sea, with its sheer power and unpredictable moods, has always inspired both fear and deep affection. It can be hugely destructive, yet men and women have placed their homes upon its shores and been fed by it; for the merchant it has been the means to reach other lands, to trade goods and experience, to invent and adapt new forms of ocean-going craft; and it has brought nations together, making them feel part of the greater world, and teaching them respect for the customs of other people.

The sea has always had its great mysteries too. Even today it is easy to believe that the spirit of the sea murmurs and glistens whencontented, or roars and seethes when angry. The constant motion of water, accompanied by changing weather patterns, naturally suggests that the sea is alive. So for our ancestors the sea, and its sons and daughters—the rivers and lakes—all had their evil or helpful spirits. It may be an old, green-bearded sea giant who, when drunk, makes the waters overflow. When pleased, he guides the fish into fishermen's nets. When angry, he raises storms, sinks ships, seizes and strangles sailors, tears traps and lines. In the depths of the water live other spirits: the mermaids, water nymphs or selkies, lovely naked women with skins the color of moonlight, silken hair and emerald eyes. Often, they so charm passers-by with their song and laughter that men drown themselves for their sake.

These stories conjure up a host of spirits and creatures in different shapes and forms, but all the tales are linked by an awe of and respect for the sea's wonderful, magical power—a feeling which is shared by people the world over.

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