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The Sea Monster's Secret

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When a young man steps into the enchanted skin of a sea monster, he finds himself transformed into a fearless explorer—and a generous hero. Amazing underwater adventures fill his nights, and he returns home each dawn with a bounty of fish for all the village to share. But how long can he hide his new identity? Based on a traditional Haida/Tlingit (Pacific Northwest/Western Canadian story, this luminously illustrated tale will capture the ...

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Overview

When a young man steps into the enchanted skin of a sea monster, he finds himself transformed into a fearless explorer—and a generous hero. Amazing underwater adventures fill his nights, and he returns home each dawn with a bounty of fish for all the village to share. But how long can he hide his new identity? Based on a traditional Haida/Tlingit (Pacific Northwest/Western Canadian story, this luminously illustrated tale will capture the imagination of all who dream of exploring the mysterious world beneath the waves.

A young man proves himself to be resourceful and brave, despite the mockery of his nagging mother-in-law, when he wears the skin of the ferocious sea monster he has slain.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
There once was a young man who married a beautiful woman whose mother thought him lazy and useless. To escape his mother-in-law's constant nagging, he set out to fish in the bay said to be inhabited by a sea monster. No sooner had he set his trap then a gleaming black monster chomped on the bait and was instantly killed. Dressing himself in the creature's skin, the young man swam to the bottom of the sea and entered a magnificent hall. Each night he would swim deeper into the sea and return with a fish, each one larger that the previous, which he secretly left at his mother-in-law's door. Thinking she had pleased the sea gods, the woman set out to rid herself of her daughter's husband. The resourceful young man, however, tricked the woman and she fled the village in fright. Inspired by a totem pole from the Pacific Northwest, this sea monster legend has all the ingredients necessary to hold a reader-magic, suspense, and a clever hero. Bold, dramatic illustrations that have a chiseled, sculpted look to them add to the power of the story.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3A young man who is tired of being taunted by his mother-in-law for his laziness ventures out alone one night to find a legendary bay. There he kills a ferocious sea monster, takes on its skin, and swims far out to sea, bringing back food for his family. The nagging woman is convinced that the bounty has come in response to her prayers and she applauds herself for her powers. When the sea monster comes to the village, the awful woman flees in terror and is never seen again. This somewhat limp retelling lacks character motivation and, puzzlingly considering the afterword, fails to ground the storys locale. (Readers are told that Drucker was intrigued by a Tlingit totem pole she saw near Ketchikan, AK, and found several written versions of the sea monsters story.) And while Ajas deep icy-looking blues, greens, and violets cast a far-north glow and his broad angles give a sculpted totem-pole effect, the illustrations large shapes and swirling lines of color tend to overpower the story.Barbara Elleman, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152006198
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/1/1999
  • Series: Gulliver Bks.
  • Edition number: 140
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 10.74 (h) x 0.36 (d)

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