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Out to Sea

Helen Kellock


From the award-winning author of The Star in the Forest, a heartfelt story about learning to cope with anxiety and grief

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Out to Sea follows the journey of a young girl named Lara who is so sad after the death of her grandmother that she is carried out to sea on a flood of her own tears. When it seems like sadness has overwhelmed her entirely, she discovers a pearl at the bottom of the ocean that triggers memories of the many happy times Lara shared with her grandmother. With the pearl safely at her side, Lara realises that she is not alone and finds the strength to pick up her oars and row herself back home.

Illustrated in Helen Kellock’s inimitable style of pencil, gouache and watercolour artworks, Out to Sea expresses the experience of anxiety and grief with unprecedented sensitivity. Unlike other books for children about loss or grief that usher their readers towards a conclusion, Out to Sea shows readers how they might ride the wave of emotions without losing perspective.


'I adore Helen Kellock's books, especially OUT TO SEA, which is one of the most gorgeous picture books I have ever seen. Dreamy'
David Walliams

'Offers a sustained marine metaphor for coming to terms with grief, its moody watercolour art buoying the reader along to an uplifting ending'
James Lovegrove, Financial Times

'A moving and uplifting reflection on love and loss for young children'
Scottish Book Trust

'The illustrations of the tiny girl alone on the stormy, dark ocean vividly communicate how isolating grief and depression are, but the addition of the hidden animals remind us we are never alone, even in our darkest hours'

'A beautiful allegorical exploration of grief and loss'

'Breathtakingly beautiful and full of emotion ... a helpful and hopeful read-aloud for young children experiencing loss. Helen Kellock tackles these difficult emotions in a way that is both sensitive and heartfelt'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC

Size: 30.8 x 23.0 cm

Extent: 32 pp

Publication date: 6 May 2021

ISBN: 9780500652367

About the Author

Helen Kellock is an illustrator and artist based in Glasgow with a Masters in Illustration from the Glasgow School of Art. For her work on The Star in the Forest, Kellock was recognised in a number of awards including winning the 2018 Batsford Prize for Children’s Illustration, and was highly commended as part of the Macmillan Book Prize. She was also highly commended in the Penguin Random House Student Design Award 2018. Kellock was awarded Picture Books Illustrator of the Year in 2019.

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