There’s a Sea in my Bedroom is a sweet, gentle story about overcoming fears. There’s a lovely dose of imagination thrown in and, the story, along with the beautiful illustrations, by Jane Turner, ensure I always finish reading with a smile on my face.
David is afraid of the sea. He loves to play on the sand, but is too scared to go into the water. One day he takes home a conch shell and his father tells him he can listen to the sea inside the shell. David feels sorry for the sea, trapped inside the shell. He listens to it and he is not afraid of this sea, so he coaxes the sea out of the shell. He plays and splashes in the sea in his bedroom and realises there is nothing to be afraid of. The very next day his father takes him back to the beach and David no longer just plays on the sand.
Why I love it:
When I think of what I love about this book, I immediately think of the pictures; they are so bright and vibrant and the boy’s elated, smiling face at the end of the story, is absolutely divine. I also love this book, because I have been through this exact issue (the fear of the sea) with my daughter. A few years ago, she got knocked down by a wave and developed an immediate fear of the water. Unfortunately for us, she was knocked down on Day 1 of a week-long beach holiday, so she spent the rest of the holiday collecting shells and building sandcastles. We couldn’t even get her near the water. Her fear went on for months and months and it was during this period that my Mum purchased ‘There’s a Sea in my Bedroom’, to read to Nina. I’m not going to tell you that it was the cure-all and had her splashing the very next day, but it did spark conversation and thought and eventually, her fears were forgotten.
Themes to discuss with your child:
- Feeling afraid
- Conquering fears
- Family support (I love the way the parents never push David to swim – they are simply there for when he is ready)
- Being non-judgemental
- Imagination and wonder
- Feeling proud of yourself
Questions to ask your child:
- What do you think this book might be about?
- Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
- Do you think there really is a sea in the boy’s bedroom?
- Would you like to have a sea in your bedroom? Why/why not?
- Is this a book you want to read? Why/why not?
- How does this story make you feel? Explain.
- Why was David afraid of the sea?
- Are you afraid of anything? Tell me about it.
- How did David get over his fear?
- Now that you’ve read the story, do you think there was a sea in David’s bedroom?
- How did David’s parents help him with his fear?
- If David was your son, what would you say or do to help him?
- Look at the picture of David on the last page of the book, give me three words to describe how you think he is feeling.
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