Set in a fantastical underwater realm with merpeople, sea tigers and giant ‘circus’ clams, among other wonders, The Sea Tiger is the story of a shy merboy, Oscar, and his only friend and protector, the eponymous Sea Tiger.
Touching on the somewhat-heavy themes of coping with changes and letting go, this is a surprisingly mature and moving tale of friendship that would be more meaningful for children above five years old.
The beautifully surreal and lush full-page illustration spreads are almost cinematic in feel, and I almost wish that this were a movie instead, since the 40-page picturebook standard doesn’t allow for deeper storylines such as this, nor the complex characters, to be explored fully — which is a shame. That said, the book abundantly showcases the author’s considerable talents and unique vision, and is a stunning work of art in its own right.
p.s. I have a soft spot for carousels/merry-go-rounds — there’s just something magical about riding on one and watching the world ostensibly spin around you, isn’t there? — and the underwater carousel depicted in the book is, in a word, ethereal.