Editor’s note: This is the first children’s book about sea kayaking we’ve ever read or reviewed, and it’s a winner. Here it is, Susan Conrad’s Inside My Sea of Dreams. The target age for this book is ages 3 to 9. Check it out!
Susan Conrad is an adventurer, a writer, a paddler, a public speaker, an athletic ambassador, and a mentor. She sees her role as expanding people’s beliefs about what is possible in all areas of their lives. She’s happiest with a paddle, a camera, a notepad, or a book in her hands. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram and at https://www.susanmarieconrad.com/
Inside My Sea of Dreams is a joy to read. Lighthearted and happy, the book tells the story of Suz, a little girl who lives on a farm and dreams about adventure. In the autobiographical story, we hear how Suz’s mother introduces her to the ocean. Later Suz discovers kayaking and goes on a big adventure.
There’s a nod in the book to the mystical connection that many paddlers feel with the ocean and with their boats. I remember reading Susan’s book Inside, One Woman’s Journey Through the Inside Passage and coming away with two primary themes: magic and gratitude. There’s much about the sea that’s magical, and people who step out of the comfort zone and paddle the big ocean in small boats encounter that magical, mystical dimension.
The illustrator, Rebecca Rothman, does a wonderful job showing the reader some aspects of that oceanic dimension. Whales, orcas, an octopus, otters – critters of the the sea are shown both above and below the surface in colorful abundance.
In the book, Suz sets off on an expedition up the Inside Passage. Her preparations, her gear, and a map of the journey are described and beautifully illustrated. There are strong tides, big mountains, an abundance of both land and sea wildlife, and a scary storm. But Suz prevails and finds supporters along the way in the Tlingit people and the caretaker of a remote little town.
There’s a lot to like about this book for an adult as well, but the things I like best are the way the beauty, splendor, and wonder of the natural world are portrayed both in text and pictures, and the way the deep connection Susan/Suz feels with that world comes through to the reader. This book has the potential to empower, educate, motivate, and entertain readers of all ages.
Thanks so much, Susan Conrad, for giving us the opportunity to check out this first children’s book about the world of adventure sea kayaking!
To buy Inside My Sea of Dreams, visit Susan’s website at https://www.susanmarieconrad.com/
You can also check out our review of Susan’s book Inside, One Woman’s Journey Through the Inside Passage by clicking here.