Taltal Levi’s Meet Me By the Sea

h1 June 17th, 2021 by jules


Here’s a post to celebrate a Swiss picture book import. Meet Me By the Sea comes from Taltal Levi, an illustrator born in Israel and now living and working in Switzerland. This story, originally published last year, arrived on shelves in February from NorthSouth Books.

“Sometimes I feel invisible to the world,” the book opens. Our narrator is a child whose family is not paying attention to her. Camping gear at the ready, she leaves a note and heads out. Nature provides her solace, and she is prepared: Everything may look “different in the dark” and feels “small” in the forest where night feels overwhelming, but she has a sleeping bag and drifts off to sleep. When she wakes, there is a surprise, pictured below: A fox sleeps at her feet, and she realizes is perhaps “not invisible after all.”

The two explore, and the child shows the fox a picture of her family. I won’t ruin the ending, but it’s a pleasing one. As the girl leaves, she looks over her should at the fox who met her by the sea. Is the fox real? Did she imagine it? Does it matter in the end?

Levi’s pacing is just right, her compositions are eye-catching; and there is a sure, smooth line to these textured illustrations — but it’s the palette that is really the star of the show. Beguiling, velvety golds, russets, and greens dominate. Words and art combine to tell a story infused with mystery and wonder, a story that honors nature’s ability to provide a space for contemplation and maybe a little bit of healing.

Here are some spreads so that you can see for yourself. …


“As morning breaks, a surprise awaits.”
(Click spread to enlarge)


“I want to share somethiung.
This is my favorite place, and these are my favorite people.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“Thank you for meeting me by the sea.”
(Click spread to enlarge)


(Click cover to enlarge)


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MEET ME BY THE SEA. Copyright © 2020 by NordSüd Verlag Ag, CH-8050 Zürich, Switzerland. First published in Switzerland under the title Wo ihr mich findet. English edition copyright © 2020 by NorthSouth Books Inc, New York. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher.

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