BEACH by Elisha Cooper (Orchard)
"Away to the beach! Away to sand and salt water, to rolling dunes and pounding waves. Away to swimsuits and sunscreen, to lying on towels and listening to the sound of the ocean. As the day begins, the beach is empty waiting to be filled." So this wonderful book welcomes us, and we feel the white, waiting blank page behind every quick-sketch watercolor, a sketchbook lovingly, urgently filled in, trying to capture every small shell and crab claw, every splash and cloud, the bend of every sunbather's knee and wrap of towel. Fast, faceless but form-filled studies against vast white backgrounds create focus, and this illustration style is a great tool for art teachers to teach children (and aspiring illustrators) how to look, really look at something. I enjoyed Cooper's droll ode to a lazy cat, MAGIC THINKS BIG (Greenwillow) published in 2004, but this latest offering really kicks it up a notch. This book was so hot it made me want to put on sunscreen. I hope it will not be overlooked for Caldecott consideration. (5 and up)
Also of interest:
With a heat wave sweeping across the country, I think it's time we hit the beach
Remember, if you do take books to the beach, you may want to put them in gallon-size ziplock bags to keep them in good condition.
Here are a few titles to tuck in your beach tote:
THE GREAT WHITE MAN-EATING SHARK: A CAUTIONARY TALE by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Jonathan Allen (Penguin) (5 and up)
HOW WILL WE GET TO THE BEACH? by Brigitte Luciani, Eve Tharlet (NorthSouth)(3 and up)
MAISY GOES SWIMMING by Lucy Cousins (Candlewick)(3 and up)
FROGGY LEARNS TO SWIM by Jonathan London, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz (Penguin)(4 and up)
DOWN TO THE SEA WITH MR. MAGEE by the retro-fabulous Chris Van Dusen (Chronicle)(5 and up)
THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT by Edward Lear, illustrated by Jan Brett (Penguin)(some gorgeous Carribean beach artwork!)(4 and up)
And another new one, a New York Times bestseller offering up what happens on the sand after the sun goes down: BATS AT THE BEACH by Brian Lies (Houghton Mifflin)(5 and up)
Hold on to your hats and visors, there's more to come!
Links are provided for informational use. Don't forget to support your local bookseller.