The Baker by the Sea
This lyrical, beautifully crafted picture book transports us to a bustling fishing town, as full-page landscapes unfurl from the pages, leading to the place where the land meets the sea and on-wards to the village where our story begins. Illustrated in muted hues echoing the sepia tones of photographs from days gone by, we become part of a family whose livelihood is thoroughly entwined in the community in which they live.
Our young protagonist is captivated by the thrill and danger of a life at sea and wonders why his father became a baker instead of a fisherman, but as the story unfolds it becomes clear that their place in the community providing baked goods is as much an essential part of the workings of the town as going to sea.
Subtly transitioning from the drama and peril of life at sea, with dramatic seascapes and crashing waves, to the chattering fisherwomen eager to make light work of the day’s catch, this thoughtful exploration of community and family is beautifully observed. The relationships between the characters are both authentic and touching, and the illustration style is absorbing and atmospheric with a lightness of touch that recalls the storyboard styling of Raymond Briggs.
As a final tastebud-tantalising treat, this book features an authentic recipe for the very buns enjoyed by the fisherwomen in the story, a lovely interactive touch to a delightfully life affirming read. A book to read nestled with loved ones, perhaps while enjoying a freshly baked bun.