I have a new picture book, Beach House, from Chronicle. Didn’t the illustrator do an AMAZING job?
How cute is that?
If you need the perfect summer book, I highly recommend this one by Amy June Bates…and me. Ha!
Here are the reviews from the fancy folks that know picture books:
“Breezy and fun… will make the beach-loving readers long for an outing of their own.”—School Library Journal
Short rhyming lines tell a tale of an idyllic family summer getaway. Mom, dad, three kids, and their dog arrive in an overloaded car at their beach cottage. Hurriedly unpacking, they rush to the ocean where they enjoy a day full of swimming, playing in the sand, and flying kites. After a hotdog cookout in the evening, they head home to a sweetly restful night—“Tan limbs tangle./Snuggled tight./Rosy noses,/kissed goodnight,” and a promise of continued fun—“Tomorrow’s/just/a sleep/away.” Bates’s soft watercolor washes exude brightness and warmth of a summer day, enlivening Caswell’s terse couplets with vivacious family scenes. VERDICT Breezy and fun, this story will make the beach-loving readers long for an outing of their own.
“Recreates the feeling and fun of a day at the beach.”—Booklist
A family returns to a beloved bit of seaside after a year away. Following a long drive, the three children (and their dog) can’t wait to run down to the ocean, but first they must unload their belongings, unpack them, and put them away. At last the whole family heads for the beach, where they splash and play until the sun goes down. After cooking hot dogs over an open fire, they return to the house for baths and bedtime. The day ends with the sound of the sea and the promise of another day there. Using brief, well-chosen phrases such as, “Hungry tummies. / Sun-kissed knees. / Salty skin. / Chilly breeze,” Caswell’s couplets read aloud well and leave plenty of space for Bates to expand on the narrative. The broad doublepage illustrations, pencil drawings with watercolor washes, bring the setting and the characters’ activities to life. Whether it elicits memories or helps children envision an unfamiliar experience, this sunny picture book recreates the feeling and fun of a day at the beach.
“Conveys the breathless joy of a day spent at the ocean.”—Publishers Weekly
After a long drive from their suburban neighborhood, a family of five arrives at an idyllic cottage that rests on a quiet section of beachfront. Once they have unpacked, they schlep their beach supplies to the sand: “Goggles, swimmies,/ masks, and fins./ Buckets, shovels./ Fun begins!” writes Caswell (Train Trip) in punchy rhymes. Throughout the day, the family members—a young mother and father, two boys, a girl, and their small dog—splash in the waves, build sand castles, fly kites, dig for clams, and roast hotdogs over a fire. Bates’s (Sweet Dreams) light-filled watercolor and pencil illustrations have a languidness that emphasizes basking in the pleasures of the moment. After a cozy bedtime routine, the youngest boy and the black-and-white pup gaze out the window at the moonlit waves: “Ocean hushes,/ palm trees sway./ Tomorrow’s just/ a sleep away.” Author and artist convey the breathless joy of a day spent at the ocean—and the assurance that there will be more to come—in this warm celebration of the family vacation.