a lovely book, full of subtle messages

by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Jane Tanner - Penguin Books Australia, 1989
ages baby to 8 years / emotional resilience, imaginationread-it-before-you-need-it

Margaret Wild wrote this - and that alone is good enough reason for me to buy it. I have yet to meet a Margaret Wild book I didn't like.

There's a Sea in My Bedroom is about David who is frightened of the sea. He likes collecting shells though and one day he finds a conch shell - the ones that sound like the sea when you put them to your ear.

David puts the shell near his bed and then gently coaxes the sea out of the shell until it fills his room and he is rollicking around in it. After that he likes the sea and isn't frightened anymore:

"Not at all, not one bit."

David is every child. His fear is the sea, but the emotions he shows and works through are those of every child (or adult). He is certain that he knows the true nature of the sea:

"It was a huge wet monster that gobbled him up..."

But he quite likes some of the results of the sea - especially the shells. And it is through the shells that David comes to like the sea itself and to lose his fear. 

Like most of Margaret Wild's books, this one is overflowing with subtle messages, in this case about conquering fear and overcoming inbuilt prejudice, told in a gentle, peaceful, homey sort of way. It is beautifully illustrated by Jane Turner - David's bedroom is comforting and real - it could be your bedroom or your friend's.

You can buy There's a Sea in my Bedroom via these direct links: Amazon - Book Depository - Booktopia

Names in this book - David