Child of the Sea

Maxine Rose Schur

Written by Maxine Rose Schur
Illustrated by Milanka Reardon

When a fisherman finds a baby girl in his net, he and his wife are overjoyed. Their wish for a child has come true! But as the years go by, Merella, their beloved daughter, has a secret longing – a longing that will lead the fisherman and his wife to a heartrending decision.

Ages 5-10, 11″x8.5″


  1. Perfect Picture Book Friday

    It’s a beautiful tale of being true to oneself, but also of giving those we love the space to be themselves. The final image is a beautiful tribute to the love that remains, when we are all allowed to be who we are. Like many folktales, it is a bit melancholy, but also full of love and heart.

  2. Lois J Wickstrom for Readers’ Favorite

    Child of the Sea, written by Maxine Rose Schur and illustrated by Milanka Reardon, is a lyrical love story between parents and child, told as a fable. An old fisherman catches a beautiful fish and decides to bring it home to show his wife. As he rows his way home, the fish becomes a baby. The couple has always wanted a child, so they decide to keep her and name her Merella. They suspect she may want to return to the sea, so they forbid her to even look at it. Of course, she breaks the rule. Of course, she discovers her true home is the ocean. The love she shows her parents, and the love they give her in return are both beautifully told and illustrated.

    Fables try to show us how to live by giving us extreme examples of everyday events. Parents make rules to keep their children safe. But sometimes those rules just aren’t suited to the child. Maxine Rose Schur has compassion for the parents and the child in this situation. Her tale takes the fact that all children grow up and leave home to lead separate lives and turns it into a myth of sacrifice on both sides. Real children often feel like a fish-out-of-water. This child truly is one. Milanka Reardon’s illustrations give a sprinkling of fairy dust to this tale of growing up and remaining close even when physically apart. Child of the Sea is a story for parents and children. Even though this is a picture book, I recommend it for teenagers who can understand the deeper levels of a fable.

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