My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Get ready for a most delightful journey to a new and wonderful place as you step into the boat on your way to the island of Heimaey. There aren’t many books like this one. Dive in and enjoy each luminous moment to the fullest! This story is related by the Lewins as a nonfiction narrative of a day searching for “pufflings,” baby puffins who need help getting to their ocean home. Watercolor illustrations not only glow with color and life but they also evoke a real feeling of place, of each moment of experience. The story is shared so clearly, relating events through the eyes of the narrators, and yet it retains a sort of magic as we read and gaze… Two young children brave the cold and the dark to search in their turn for the pufflings, as each year the children of the village take their turn at this vital job. Some of the pages are densely texted on one side with artwork on the facing page, some contain text interspersed with pen/ink and watercolor thumbnail sketches; still others are two-page spreads which draw the reader in to glory in the richness of color and gesture. Facts about Atlantic Puffins, history of the locale and a glossary with pronunciation guide all make this a wonderful choice for any young reader of nonfiction. The narrative is top-notch, but the paintings stole my heart.