The Land Outside
Daniel Landin, author
A little manta ray of the open ocean dreams of visiting “the land outside of the water”; a place of strange creatures and mythic landscapes. For this little ray, the Land Outside (as it is called) is filled with unimaginable wonders. Join the Little Ray on his adventure as he travels from his home in the sea to the place of his dreams, and encounters a slew of animals including monkeys, giraffes, a rhino, and many more.
This archetypal tale is made fresh and enchanting by mesmerizing illustrations. The central character, a small manta ray, is a restless soul, curious about the “land outside,” the place beyond the familiar sea that the ray inhabits. When a sea lion describes that land, the ray dreams of it and fervently longs to be there, praying hard until one day he finds himself transformed into a bird in the land where everything “was magnificently new.” Very soon the restless ray seeks more, and is transformed again and again until, like the Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy, he comes to understand the value of home. The narrative is a bit long for the attention spans of youngest readers, but Landin’s art, done in digitally manipulated acrylic, oil, and pencil, depicts creature after creature in a riot of color and settings. The dominant blue of the sea setting provides a soothing anchor that could make this a perfect bedtime story, one that might prompt colorful dreams of worlds outside. A visually arresting book. All ages. (BookLife)