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South Portland author to write new picture book with Islandport Press


Islandport Press is pleased to announce that it has signed South Portland author Jean Flahive and will publish her children’s picture book, The Old Mainer and the Sea, in October.

In the book, written for children between the ages of four and eight, Eben goes out fishing one day, rowing six miles from his island home toward the harbor on the mainland, hauling in cod as he goes. However, before he finishes his journey, a porpoise tangles his lines, fog rolls in, and an accident leads to a broken oar. Lonely, tired, and adrift, Eben is almost ready to give in to the embrace of the sea, when rescue comes in an unexpected form. The Old Mainer and the Sea is an allegorical tale about the circular nature of hope and deliverance.

“The background for the story is based on research the author collected about fishermen who hauled hand lines between Chebeague Island and Portland in the late 1800s,” said Islandport Press children’s book editor Melissa Kim, “which gives the book great authenticity. I was drawn to this because it has all the makings of a classic story—emotion, tension, and adventure—that children will ask for again and again.”

Jean Flahive has a passion for shedding light on lesser known pieces of Maine history, blending historical realities with works of fiction. She is co-author of two children’s picture books, Remember Me, Tomah Joseph’s Gift to Franklin Roosevelt, which won a 2009 Moonbeam Gold Award, and The Galloping Horses of Willowbrook. She is also the author of two books of young adult historical fiction, including Billy Boy, the Sunday Soldier of the 17th Maine, which was published by Islandport Press in 2007. She and her husband live in South Portland.

Author photo: Kevin Bennett/Islandport Press