Ella And The Waves by Britta Teckentrup

The Blurb On The Back:

Ella sits alone in her little boat, struggling to find the courage to set sail.  But then a white bird breaks through the clouds, bringing with it light and the promise of hope.

A beautiful and timely story about turning fear into courage.

ELLA AND THE WAVES was released in the United Kingdom on 4th August 2022.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order ELLA AND THE WAVES by Britta Teckentrup from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Ella is sitting in her little boat in the middle of the deepest, darkest part of the ocean that’s miles from anywhere.  There’s no wind and the waves are still.  Too frightened to set sail, it takes a white bird emerging from the sky and carrying a lantern to help her find her courage to set off and see where her journey takes her …

Britta Teckentrup’s self-illustrated picture book is a beautiful, lyrical story about finding your courage and conquering adversity.  The illustrations are gorgeous and the message about persevering because there will always be someone to help you is a sensible one.  Although the central metaphor may go over young readers heads, it does give them something to talk about with parents/care-givers, which adds a dimension to the book.

There’s a lot to this book and Teckentrup has clearly given a lot of thought to the different layers of the story here.  Young readers will understand Ella setting off in her boat and having the different marine animals help her find her way, but I think it will take conversations with adults/care givers reading along with them to understand the metaphor of how this applies to life and never giving up in the face of adversity.  I really liked the illustrations from the darkness of the sea to the depiction of the various sea animals (my favourite being the jellyfish) and the light colours in the final pages as Ella finds other boats and new possibilities.

I thought that the whole thing was beautifully done and actually quite moving.  I’d definitely check out Teckentrup’s other work on the strength of this. 

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