The Fo’c’sle:

Henry Beston’s “Outermost House”

Yonder is the sea, great and wide, which teems with things innumerable, living things both great and small.
—Psalms 104:25

Most adults know, and many have read, Henry Beston’s beloved account of the year he spent in a shack high on a dune overlooking the thundering surf of the Atlantic. Here, on the outer forearm of Cape Cod, looking un­interrupted due east to Portugal, he made a life in a 16 × 20-foot shack, simply furnished with a kitchen, a bed, a chest of drawers, a writing table, and a few chairs. He lived there, alone, through the changing seasons, the migration of birds, the howling of the winter storms, the occasional visits of surfmen from nearby Nauset Station, and the turning of the stars in the night sky. During the days, he would wander along the beach, take notes, and think. At dusk he would come home to write by lanternlight. The result was his immortal record of that year on the Nauset dunes, The Outermost House. The house was known as “The Fo’c’sle.”

Now we have a record of that year for younger readers, brilliantly retold and illustrated by Nan Parson Rossiter. Her artwork glows with the same inner light and simplicity that animated Beston’s prose and amplified the natural world. And although his memorable prose is incorporated throughout the book, it is Rossiter’s skill, as both an artist and an interpreter, that makes him, his year, and the little shack he so loved come convincingly, and poignantly, to life.

In a serene picture-book account of Beston’s soujourn, Nan Parson Rossiter has captured in oil paintings the lonesome, windswept beauty that drew Beston to the ocean. . . . Some picture books seek to educate, some to excite; this one feels like a restful pause.
The Wall Street Journal

A poetic tribute to an early-20th-century cousin of Walden and the house where it was written.
Kirkus

A evocative account of writer Henry Beston’s year living in a tiny house on the dunes of Cape Cod—excerpts from Beston’s writing are incorporated into Rossiter’s prose passages and inset panels that appear against her gorgeous, sweeping panoramas.
Publishers Weekly

Nan Parson Rossiter is the author / illustrator of several award-winning books for children including Rugby & Rosiem, The Way Home and Sugar on Snow. She lives in rural Connecticut with her husband, two handsome sons, and a yellow retriever named Mulligan. When not working, she enjoys hiking with her family and vacationing on Cape Cod.