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Children's Fiction New Baby

I Want to Build a Seahouse (pb)

by (author) Whitney Moran

illustrated by Josée Bisaillon

Nimbus Publishing
Initial publish date
Apr 2023
New Baby, Siblings, Boats, Ships & Underwater Craft, Imagination & Play
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2


I want to build a seahouse
A place that's just for me...

In a lighthouse on the sea lives a young girl who is about to become a big sister. Trouble is, she doesn't want a little sister. With her peaceful life disrupted, the girl's only option is to run away—and build her very own seahouse! With a foghorn for a doorbell and a fence of fishing rope, windows made of sea glass, buoys to help it float — and a pirate flag for safety (of course), she'll have everything she needs.

The girl imagines all of the adventures she'll have, talking parrot in tow: harvesting seaweed from her garden; telling ghost stories to merfolk; charting the tides and sailing by moonlight. But there's a loneliness that creeps in whenever she thinks of her family back on land. And there's those pesky stormy seas to consider...

A poetic ode to the childhood yearning for freedom, sprinkled with new-sibling jealousy, the debut picture book by editor Whitney Moran, whimsically illustrated with a magnificent coastal palette by award-winning artist Josée Bisaillon, is a heartfelt story of family and independence, and a celebration of imagination and the natural world.

About the authors

Whitney Moran has always lived by the sea, and never too far away from a lighthouse. She is the managing editor of Nimbus Publishing and Vagrant Press in Kjipuktuk (Halifax, Nova Scotia) and makes her home in a seahouse in West Dover with her partner and their Old English Sheepdog.

Whitney Moran's profile page

Jos&eacutee Bisaillon a illustr&eacute plus de trente-cinq livres pour enfants et cr&eacute&eacute de nombreuses illustrations pour des magazines et des journaux. Elle a &eacutet&eacute finaliste au Prix litt&eacuteraire du Gouverneur g&eacuten&eacuteral &agrave deux reprises et a remport&eacute le prestigieux Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award pour The Snow Knows. Il s’agit du quatri&egraveme ouvrage de Jos&eacutee avec Orca, apr&egraves My Head in the Clouds et Bedtime 123 &eacutecrit par Eric Walters, un succ&egraves de librairie. Elle vit en banlieue de Montr&eacuteal avec sa famille.

Josée Bisaillon's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Filled with warmth and whimsy, Whitney Moran's debut picture book is a playful, spirited tale. Rollicking rhymes dance blithely off each page as the seafaring adventuress envisions her new nautical life. With a lilting lyricism, the text is vibrant and energetic and captures a sense of exuberance while also subtly and sensitively depicting the conflicting emotions that a child experiences with the arrival of a new sibling.

Atlantic Books Today

The concept is both touching and thoroughly relatable. The inclusive illustrations do a great job of building out the world of the narrative, as the reader can see themself in the neighbourhood of the story.

Quill & Quire

The story, told in bouncy quatrains (you can almost hear the hornpipe), is full of nautical imagery…. Whitney Moran's jaunty, seaside-inspired text is matched by rollicking yet soft-edged illustrations by Josée Bisaillon?[who] captures the sea's many moods with swirls of colour…. This Maritime tale offers a lively and unique way for any young seafarer with a new sibling and for landlubbers too.

Canadian Children's Book News

Other titles by Whitney Moran

Other titles by Josée Bisaillon