When you see random pauses in the posting of this blog over the summer, you can bet that I’m at the beach. Or just back from the beach. Or even packing for the beach. I like to get to the shore a few times during the summer to see my family and the ocean. My girls and I are beach people. (My husband is a lake person, but that’s another story.)
On this last trip we took my two-year-old niece for the first time. It was magical watching her reactions. She loved the sand, called out to the boats, and chased the seagulls. She was a bit frightened of the ocean, but she did hold my hand and put her feet in the smallest waves. We had an amazing time.
I haven’t begun my yearly search for new beach books. I find they tend to hit my library after the summer is over. Oh, well. Instead, I’m reposting three of the ones I talked about last year so that you can find them in time for your own beach trip. Enjoy.
For a funny take on the seashore, look to Bats at the Beach. It’s a cute book, but it’s more than just cute. There are the legs sticking out from the marshmallow to be toasted on a stick. There’s the image of the bats flying to the beach with their tote bags and umbrellas (for the moon, I guess) gripped in their feet. It’s the picture of the bat buried in the sand and the bat friends making a bird sculpture out of him. The text is cute, but the pictures are very, very clever. And very, very fun.
If you are a beach lover, then you will find your comfort zone in Beach, by Elisha Cooper. In the softest watercolors, a day at the beach is laid out in little pictures on each page. It’s not a book about plot, but about mood, and it totally captures the laid-back, lazy days at the beach with a hundred things to see. People, clouds, seashells, waves, portrayed and celebrated in all their many variations. Pages filled with twenty different tiny pictures are followed by a full, wordless, two-page spread. Simply a beautiful summertime book.
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, despite 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. The illustrator, Kristine Swarner, brings you along on this lazy, lovely day on the beach. Look at the cover with the little girl beckoning you into the waves. Don’t you want to go now?