For some, the idea of going on a family vacation that does not include a theme park or some kind of flashy screens is scary. In The Specific Ocean, when faced with a family trip to the Pacific Ocean, a young girl creates for herself a daily moping schedule (while her older brother happily heads to the beach), which includes time allotted for watching dust, playing chess alone, pulling loose thread, and staring at the wall. Horrible vacation, indeed! But she soon has a revelation, and her brother has to catch up with her on the way to the ocean. This “specific ocean” becomes a magical place for her, and she becomes reluctant to head home. While the author titles her book The Specific Ocean because of how some kids – like herself – might pronounce “Pacific,” the word “specific” also gives the sense that there is no single experience of a place in nature. Everyone will experience a beach or forest differently from others, and that experience is specific to them on an individual level.
This story shows the power of that line between land and sea in combating boredom.
Enjoys these images of the artwork in The Specific Ocean by Katty Maurey: