A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
Stands out for positive messages.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lalani of the Distant Sea, by Newbery-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly (Hello, Universe), is inspired by Filipino folklore. It tells the story of 12-year-old Lalani Sarita, who sails away from her home island, Sanlagita, to the northern island Isa in search of a way to save her friends and family. Although courage, compassion, and perseverance are important themes, sensitive readers might be frightened by some of the fantastical yet dangerous creatures that Lalani encounters on her epic quest. Characters tell stories of Mount Kahna's wrath and the evil mountain beast on Sanlagita. Characters die during an earthquake, sailing across the Veiled Sea, or fighting a mythical creature. Lalani’s mom ends up with "mender's disease," which many of the women on the island have died from. Characters talk about their crushes and kissing.
What's the story?
Inspired by Filipino folklore, LALANI OF THE DISTANT SEA tells the story of 12-year-old Lalani Sarita who lives on the island of Sanlagita and goes on an epic quest to save her family and friends. Generations of men, including her dad, have tried to sail across the Veiled Sea but none has been able to reach the legendary Mount Isa. When her mom gets sick after pricking her finger on a needle and the villagers start to blame Lalani for all of Sanlagita's problems, she finds the courage to sail to Mount Isa and search for its magical flower that will hopefully save everyone. Can Lalani overcome the dangerous obstacles on her journey? Will she do what many believed to be impossible and bring the riches of Mount Isa back to Sanlagita?
Is it any good?
Kids will love this fantastical adventure that emphasizes the power of friendship, compassion, and self-reliance. Author Erin Entrada Kelly seamlessly weaves life lessons into Lalani of the Distant Sea and uses vivid details, gorgeous illustrations, and a rich cast of characters to bring Sanlagita and its mythical creatures to life. There are some frightening moments along Lalani's epic quest to save her friends and family, but her courage and perseverance will encourage kids to believe in themselves, fight for their loved ones, and remind them that good will always conquer evil.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in Lalani of the Distant Sea. Is it overwhelming, or does the fantasy setting make it easier to handle?
Is Filipino folklore new to you? What did you learn? Where can you learn more?
- Author: Erin Entrada Kelly
- Illustrator: Lian Cho
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Fairy Tales, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Greenwillow Books
- Publication date: September 3, 2019
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 400
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Award: ALA Best and Notable Books
- Last updated: September 25, 2020
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