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Annotation: A wordless picture book that shows a little girl's first experiences at the beach, as she goes from being afraid of the roaring waves to playing on the shore while gulls soar overhead.
Catalog Number: #26678
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Inventory Sale Inventory Sale
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition Date: 2008
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-8118-5924-X Perma-Bound: 0-605-19278-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-8118-5924-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-19278-2
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2007062026
Dimensions: 19 x 31 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
In Lee's wordless story, a girl plays in the surf. At first timid, then brazen, the girl is humbled finally when a wave crashes over her. Flowing charcoal and acrylic illustrations draw attention to the vastness of the water in various blues, the only color besides black, gray, and the white of the page. The book's extra-long landscape orientation perfectly displays the compositions.
Kirkus Reviews
Five gulls and a little girl play with the tide in this beach adventure that lacks text but provides plot aplenty. Nineteen beautiful blue-and-gray 24" x 7" acrylic-and-charcoal illustrations tell the story sublimely. A line of birds follows the barefoot girl to the edge of the shore, and the gently rolling tide chases all six of them several feet up the beach. A dance begins; forward, back. The composition uses the gutter to great effect, placing the gray-sketched girl and gulls on the left-hand page while the liquid blue ocean laps ever closer on the right. The girl splashes and plays in the shallow waters, birds swirling in the sky above her. Then a huge wave rears up and tumbles over her. For a minute, she's stunned, then awestruck and excited to find the beach littered with beautiful shells that weren't there before, blue ocean saturating gray land. Gulls in the sky react happily as well, wheeling against the now-azure sky. When mother comes to fetch her, the girl gives the ocean a secret wave goodbye. Simply spectacular. (Picture book. 3-8)
School Library Journal Starred Review
K-Gr 3 Lee's wordless picture book perfectly captures a child's day at the beach. Followed by a flock of seagulls, a girl runs delightedly to where waves break on the shore. She surveys the sea and together they begin a silent dance. She chases it as it recedes, runs from it as it surges, splashes in it when it calms, taunts it as it rises, and finally succumbs to it crashing down upon her and discovers what treasures the waves can bring. A panoramic trim size beautifully supports the expansiveness of the beach, and Lee uses the gutter to effectively represent the end of the shorelineuntil the girl crosses that line. Loosely rendered charcoal and acrylic images curl and flow like water and reflect playfulness, especially in the facial and bodily expressions of the child and seagulls. The use of blue in an otherwise gray-toned world calls attention to the ocean, which rivals the girl as a main character in this story. Wave is best shared in small groups for the younger set, but also suited for solitary enjoyment by older children. A simple, well-crafted story of friendship. Kim T. Ha, Elkridge Branch Library, MD
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly

Lee's (The Zoo) wordless two-color picture book will charm even readers who have never seen the postwar classics her work explicitly recalls. In it, a mostly solitary girl, conjured with a few broad charcoal strokes, encounters the ocean, all watery splashes and splatters of blue. Lee's spreads of the beach are drawn and painted in black, white and gray on matte pages; the waves are sloshed on with aqua. Dueling textures—dry charcoal, wet paint strokes—mirror the silent conversation between the girl and the waves. The girl, hanging back at first, grows bolder, taunts an enormous wave, disappears under a burst of salt water, emerges drenched, and discovers the gifts the wave leaves behind. Her stick-straight hair beguiles; her expressions morph from suspicion to resolve to joy. The ocean is alive, too, with its own range of feelings; tranquil ripples, flamenco-like explosions of spray, spatters of foam. The book's oblong shape gives Lee a dramatic expanse of beach to work with, almost like a stage; five seagulls form a Greek chorus, advancing and retreating together with the girl. A book whose rewards multiply with rereading. All ages. (June)

Reading Level: WL
Interest Level: K-3
Guided Reading Level: Y
Fountas & Pinnell: Y

In this evocative wordless book, internationally acclaimed artist Suzy Lee tells the story of a little girl's day at the beach. Stunning in their simplicity, Lee's illustrations, in just two shades of watercolor, create a vibrant story full of joy and laughter.

New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book 2008

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