Ruth Finnegan

happy dreams must end. Their parting gifts include a magic pebble-pearl that rightsthe broken mast so they may return to the shore of reality and family. Though thePearl of the Seas may not buoy them to distant lands again, theydetermine that Black Inked Pearl--the written record of theirtravels--shall be their legacy. As in the novel for adults, Finnegan's (BlackInked Pearl, 2015) "fairytale prequel" for younger readers delights in theassociative wordplay of sound and sense. A moment of canine joy provides avivid illustration: "Still in gleeful flightful lightsome delighting delight.Barking, sparking, larking." A handful of superb black-and-white drawings by Backshallcomplements the work's whimsical vision.

Pearl of the Seas

Inspired variously by the Odyssey,William Blake's cosmologies, Rumi's poems, and Charles Kingsley's stories foryoungsters, this novel embraces the magic of childhood imagining. Kate and Chris, along with Kate's loyal dog, Holly, swim and frolic on a summer shore.

 

A ship built from driftwood becomes their vessel: Kate's the queen and Chris isthe Man of Action, the one who saves them both from wind and water. At first,Kate's fear of sailing the high seas causes her to abandon ship, but a terribleloneliness sets in, and she regrets leaving. The sudden appearance of a magician saves the day; she answers his riddles to regain her berth. In theirboat, the Pearl of the Seas, Kate and Chris pilot through treacherousrocks and come ashore in a welcoming kingdom, where they learn a version of theTower of Babel story, "the very disaster of our world."

In this hybrid book of narrative blended with verse and song, different ways of telling a story mayappear on a single page. The King of Names instructs Kate that "for the deepthings it is poetry." Such wise lessons fortify the children, but even

© 2020 by Ruth Finnegan. All Rights Reserved.