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April 8, 2014
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Book review: 'Edge of the Blue'

Peter Spain, a professional photographer and longtime resident of Crystal Bay, has a keen eye for visual appeal. He has taken his inherent talent and applied it to a new venue with the release of his first children’s book “Edge of the Blue.”

The book makes a fine impression on impact, with an attractive, glossy hardcover that has a quality feel in your hand. Its “vintage vibe” takes you back to the good old days of yesteryear. Illustrator Seidai Tamura introduces a dollop of whimsy with her appealing drawings. The endearing characters have expressive eyes with interesting faces that exude warmth. It almost feels as though you can peer into their little souls.

The story line of “Edge of the Blue” is sure to be an excellent conduit for conversation. When you read it with your young ones, topics such as the origin of Lake Tahoe, its native people and issues surrounding climate change and the environment may emerge.

The story is brief but creates curiosity. A flight of the imagination with a dream-like quality, it points to issues such as the warming earth and changes in lake habitat. Children might be curious and want to know more. It’s a perfect opportunity for a discussion.

While visiting Grandpa Opa and Meme by way of a steam train from San Francisco, Andrea and brother Ari are unaware they are about to experience a surreal adventure. With its magical clear waters, sweet smells and captivating natural sounds, Lake Tahoe is a favorite destination each year. They call it “heaven on earth.”

Upon disembarking the steam train they drive from Tahoe City to Homewood, where the family operates a fishing business. Once there, Meme, Grandpa Opa and Thomas reconnect with stories and fun. As a longtime helper for their grandparents who live at Tahoe year around, Thomas, a native Washoe, has known Andrea and Ari for years and is like family to them.

Thomas takes the children out to explore the lake in a fishing boat, and they head toward Emerald Bay for a day of fun. The trio eventually meets Stella, a creature unlike any they’ve ever seen before, and Lily, the beautiful spirit of the lake and a vision with her flowing golden hair.

She tells them of a frozen underwater world of which they had no knowledge and asks them for their help. With this unexpected encounter a fantasy begins to unfold with the children now at the center.

A Lake Tahoe map is sketched up front of the book. It delineates California and Nevada and is very nice. “Lake Tahoe Facts” are located in the back and introduced in a “did-you-know” format. Spain also includes a couple of stunning photographs that will delight all readers. He dangles the ending of the story and speaks of a sequel. More adventures are in store for Andrea and Ari.

“Edge of the Blue” can be purchased in South Lake Tahoe at Cabin Fever, the Ski Run Marina or at the Keep Tahoe Blue store. In Incline Village you can find it at Panache, located in the Raley’s Shopping Center. The Robin’s Nest in Kings Beach also carries the book. Visit for more information.

Gloria Sinibaldi resides part-time in South Lake Tahoe. Her short story, “A Means To Survive,” appears in “Tahoe Blues.” She is a job coach, trainer and author. Contact her at:

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Sierra Sun Updated Apr 10, 2014 12:21PM Published Apr 8, 2014 03:34PM Copyright 2014 Sierra Sun. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.