Cape Charles Mirror Review
by Wayne Creed
When my children were young, like most dads, I would read to them at bedtime, just before they went to sleep. It became one of our nightly routines, one that we almost never missed. It was a wonderful time of life, as not only was I exposing my children to new ideas and worlds through books, it was also a way for me to reconnect with parts of my own childhood, able to revisit some of the books that I loved growing up. As an adult (and English Major), it also gave me an appreciation for the talent and quality that can go into the children’s book genre.
My one regret is that the book, Pea Soup and the Seafood Feast by the Eastern Shore’s own Anna Burger was not around when my kids were young. Growing up on the Eastern Shore, this book would have been the one they would want me read to them over and over. The plot is simple and elegant—a young boy is not really thrilled about what his mom is going to be cooking for dinner (Pea Soup), so he decides to go out to the creek where he lives and catch a seafood feast of his own. Along the way, he discovers just how much he has in common these fish, crabs and clams, and realizes just how wonderful they really are.
Anna Burger’s prose is crisp and charming, brimming with life, like the Shore itself. The water color Illustrations by Laura Craig are whimsical and fun, and fit Ms. Burger’s prose like a glove.
Pea Soup and the Seafood Feast captures the essence, the spiritual attachment that many of us living on the Shore feel to this land between two waters. Burger teaches us about how to live sustainably, to take joy and pleasure in the simple beauty all around us, and to realize and come to terms with the notion that we are all part of the this gentle, fragile ecosystem, and that there is a kinship between us and all the beautiful creatures that inhabit these waters.
Pea Soup and the Seafood Feast is a must have for every child’s bookshelf, especially children of the Eastern Shore. Thank you Ms. Burger for reminding us of not just why we live on the Shore, but also how we should live here.
Order direct from the publisher at www.belleislebooks.com; 804.644.3090 or write 5 South First Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219.
Also available at amazon.com and bn.com. $19.95 plus shipping/handling.
About the Author
Anna Burger lives with her husband and young son on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. She grew up on Onancock Creek, where she received her first boat at age 12 and learned how to crab and fish sh from her father and grandfather. After several years practicing law, she is now following her first love – writing.
About the Illustrator
Laura Craig was raised on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and currently lives with her husband and daughters in Fredericksburg. A hobbyist painter all her life, she is now a professional artist, and is excited to have her first opportunity to call herself an illustrator as well.