Out of the Deeps
by Anne Laurel Carter
illustrated by Nicolas Debon
Orca Book Publishers, 2008
$19.95 (hardcover), 32 pp, colour illustrations, historical note, ages 8 – 13
Out of the Deeps is a fine addition to the body of excellent Canadian picture books that are superlative stories for children, beautiful works of art, and invaluable recordings of the history and culture of our country. In this story, a young boy goes into the coal mine with his father on the day before the first paid holiday for the Glace Bay coal miners which was granted in 1944. He plans to bring his father’s pit pony out so he too can enjoy the freedom and sunshine of the holiday. It is the boy’s first experience in the deeps, and the pony helps him overcome his fears when they are entrusted to carry out a delivery alone. Through the telling of the events of the day, the author and illustrator convey much about the daily life of coal mining families and the dangers of working in the mines. Out of the Deeps deserves a place of honour on the bookshelves of Canadian picture book collectors and, of course, in school libraries and classrooms across the country.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s January 2009 issue.