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In a picture-perfect ode to the perfect day at the beach, a young boy experiences the joys of being left alone to play and dream at the edge of a wild sea.
Waiting is hard. In a gentle multigenerational story that blurs the boundaries of real and imagined, Noah waits on shore while Nana fixes their sailboat. The boat will take them out to sea where the seals live, and Noah can hardly contain himself. In the meantime, he sculpts his own seal out of sand. Noah collects shells for the seal’s speckled back, spiky dune grass for whiskers, two shiny pebbles for eyes, and a smiling line of seaweed for a mouth. He lies beside his new friend to watch the rolling sea until a storm blows in and Noah must take cover. Later, he wonders: did his seal swim away? Readers will delight in pondering the mystery too in this sun-splashed book for young adventurers—an essential summer-vacation read.
About the Author
Layn Marlow has illustrated numerous picture books, including the My First Milestones series by Amber Stewart, and is the creator of You Make Me Smile and other books for the very young. She lives in the United Kingdom.
A day at the beach with Nana becomes an adventure when seals are involved. . . . With well-paced energy and a satisfying final spread, this sweet tale featuring a brown-skinned boy and his loving adult, a woman of color, turns a day at the beach into a magical experience. The fact that Noah and Nana have the beach all to themselves makes his imaginative play and intimacy with the natural world all the more potent. The textures and colors of the illustrations make each spread a delight to the eyes. Powerful in its sweet, childlike simplicity.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Place, action, and characters are closely observed in both the sensitive text and dynamic, dot-eyed human portrayals as soft washes of watercolor, paired with physical and digital collage, ground the natural setting. Noah’s wish is one that readers will share; watching as it is fulfilled in this sweet intergenerational narrative is a small, satisfying pleasure.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The watercolor in this UK import will take viewers right to the beach with its dreamy setting and detailed, textured waves of the ocean. This would make for a good readaloud to match the mood for a hot summer day, but the language is easy enough for older kids to try on their own.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books