Nine-year-old Tammy is worried--her mother lies in a coma and her father is overwhelmed. Out of nowhere her great-aunt, "Mean Yuri" Hamada, appears to whisk Tammy and her older brother, Ken, off to Emerald Isle. Ken plots to return home by impeding Yuri's resolve with acts of extreme brattiness. But Tammy is captivated by Yuri's storytelling, the way her brush brings old Japanese folktales to life on her canvas, her aunt's past. She's as concerned about a buried nest of loggerhead turtle that may not hatch. Wartski skillfully blends these subplots with themes of renewal and transformation.