Outlined in the tranquil telling of a friendship between a young boy and a seemingly odd man who proves to be ""old and wise, and full of wonderful secrets"" is a beguiling look at the breeding process of Japanese sea turtles, who lay their eggs on land yet live in the ocean. Jiro-San is often seen sweeping the glass and rubbish from the beach and listening to the wind, in preparation for the return of his ""old friends."" Taro and his reluctant sister join in and help, without knowing why. The secret is revealed in the form of a band of mother turtles, who lay their leathery eggs in holes in the sand; weeks later, Jiro-San and the two children witness the nocturnal emergence of hundreds of baby sea turtles scuttling seaward--a mild lesson in the life cycle of the loggerhead, close cousin to the more familiar land turtles. Hushed, lavender-hued pictures befit the tone of the understated story; mottled backgrounds cast a quiet spell, as does the sagacious old man who appears to understand more than just turtles.