There are many, many fine beach books out there. In fact, Planet Esme did a great series of beach-related picture books last week. I’ve linked to the last post of that week, noting that the previous days’ posts are listed on the left side (as I typed the word “left,” I held my hands up from the keyboard to make the letter L to confirm that the entries are indeed on the left side.)
I will only review one book here today. Some may call it selective for picking only the best beach book of 2006 to discuss. Some may just call it intrinsic laziness for only writing one review. Both assessments would be spot-on.
My mother lives in Virginia Beach, so that is the beach that I frequent. It is the worst beach for beach combing if you want to find whole shells of any kind. The surf tends to be rough, so the shells come tumbling to the shore as pieces. It makes the few nice ones even more special. It also focuses the search on the other wonders of the ocean.
One White Wishing Stone by Doris K. Gayzagian is the story of that search for the perfect gifts from the sea. The little girl finds many treasures in her path that will be familiar to all beach goers. While the elusive starfish is found in a tidal pool, she is also impressed with the eight skate egg cases she finds on the sand. Having never seen skate egg cases represented in a picture book, while having seen them all over the beach, I am impressed with the things that the author chose to highlight of the beach experience.
One White Wishing Stone is a counting book with simple if lovely text. I give credit to the illustrator Kristine Swarner for turning this book into the best beach book of 2006 with her beautiful pictures. The paintings bring you along on this lazy, lovely day on the beach. Look at the cover with the little girl beckoning you into the waves. I could leave my desk today, if it weren’t for my, you know, job.
There is still one whole month to get yourself to the beach this summer though I am a strong advocate of hitting the Southern east coast in September for a more serene visit. If you can’t make it, or want to relive those pleasant days when the tide ruled your day, pick up this simply stunning book.