Lucy Mettler, a 17-year-old high school student from Charleston, South Carolina, launches her debut book, Treasures of the Tide (Elyon Press), a heartwarming story for elementary school children who may be coping with the loss of a loved one. Mettler’s lyrical picture book tells the story of a boy whose passion for shell hunting and boundless curiosity connects him with his departed father, who also loved searching for the ocean’s hidden treasures. Mettler also hopes to empower young readers to discover the magic of the natural world, which is often drowned out by digital distractions.
Mettler, who grew up near the water, is a firm believer that every child should have the opportunity to discover the magic that exists in nature. Mettler is partnering with the National Alliance for Children’s Grief to provide the book as a resource to grief professionals and children. She donated 500 books to attendees of the Alliance’s 26th annual symposium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “My hope is that this tale inspires wonder and offers comfort to children who may be missing a family member or friend,” says Mettler. “Even as I near adulthood, I still miss my grandparents, who passed away when I was younger. I want children to know they are not alone, and that our loved ones are still with us in spirit and through special memories.”
The story of exploration and family is complemented by the whimsical illustrations of award-winning artist Nathaniel Eckstrom. Eckstrom is one of Australia’s leading children’s illustrators and has illustrated more than 26 titles, including Meg McKinlay’s Duck! and Eddie Jaku’s The Happiest Boy on Earth. “Last summer, I worked at a summer camp in order to earn money to pay for the illustrations. The job also gave me the wonderful opportunity to interact with young children, who are my audience for the book,” says Mettler. “But even though the book is geared toward elementary-aged children, I wanted to create a story that parents would enjoy too. It’s really a book for people of all ages.”
Treasures of the Tide is now available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and through lucymettler.com. The book launch follows Lucy’s reading to students attending Montgomery Knolls Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. The event was held in partnership with Linkages to Learning program, a community-school program that provides at-risk students and their families with educational resources and support.