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The Sea Chest
By Toni Buzzeo, Mary Grandpre
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Review by Allison Martin

A children's picture book about the legend of a baby found after a storm by a lighthouse keeper and his wife, who is raised as their daughter. The book is illustrated with impressionist oil paintings in deep colors, evocative of a warm shelter in a heavy storm. When the story begins, the young daughter of the lighthouse keeper is growing up happy but lonely. She entertains herself with home schooling, nature and telling stories. After a fierce storm that seems to last forever, the little girl and her father walk the beach and discover a sea chest washed on the shore. To their amazement it contains a baby wrapped in many blankets! The little girl is overjoyed to have a sister who can share her days on the island.

Although this book does have an adoption theme, it is a romantic view told by the lighthouse keeper's birth daughter. For young adoptees the image of being cast into the sea might be disconcerting, despite the happy ending. However, birth children who are waiting for the arrival of a baby sister (adopted or birth) would enjoy it quite a bit, as it paints a sympathetic picture of sisters as friends.

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