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The Sea-Thing Child (Children's book, 1972)

On a black and stormy night the sea-thing child is flung up on the beach, a little draggled heap of scales and feathers. Although made for deep diving and high flying, he is afraid of the ocean. When he meets a fiddler crab with no bow, these two help each other avoid their fears for a while. But the sea-thing child is growing, and he is restless until he finds his star, his courage and his ocean self.

Type of work: 
Children's book
Year of first publication: 
Original publisher: 
Age range: 
Young children
Illustrations by: 
Patrick Benson

Review quotes: 

"Hoban's small, exact observations will haunt for ever." The Times

"A funny, poignant, uplifting story... The poetry of the text is fully reflected in the depth, the sensitivity, and the gentle humour of the illustrations." Books for Keeps

"Russell Hoban's superb 30-year-old classic about the terrible power of nature seen through the sea and shoreline and the eyes of the sea-thing child as he grows in experience and confidence. Patrick Benson's paintings marvellously capture the immensity of the sea and sky." Guardian, Classic children's library: 4-7

Shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal.
[1972] For Leon Redler [1999 edition: To the above 1972 dedication I have pleasure in adding sea-thing greetings to my newest grandchild, Paul, born April 22, 1998 R.H. For Sarah Franklyn and Francis Joyce P.B.]

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