Ocean Wide, Ocean Deep by Susan Lendroth involves a young girl whose father has set sail for the China Trade for a whole year. Rhyming poetry conveys seasonal images of a foamy sea, burnt autumn colors, a frozen December and more, lending a vivid atmosphere to this girl's world or rather, worlds. She lives in two -- that of her Cape Cod land and the one she dreams of in China, in which her father leads her through merchants' shops with jade, teak, and other Chinese treasures.
As the seasons emerge and change, so do events in the young girl's life, such as her baby brother learning to walk and the abstract worries of a cold, raging December when the girl "tells Mama of her growing dread" that her father is in a fierce war against storm and hail.
Through Lendroth's poetry and the illustrator Raul Allen's stunning watercolors including earthy shades of the environment and ware of Cape Cod (grays, blues, olive greens, bright sands, and simple dress that still characterizes the peninsula), the reader is treated to a haunting, timeless tale of what this child envisions each season.