A young girl and her family are on the verge of losing their home on the beach.
Urbanization has reached the beachfront, and the house Lula and her family live in is threatened by bulldozers to make room for a “huge highway.” Savoring her limited time left on the beach, Lula goes on a quest to find “treasures” but ends up saving “the tiniest creature” she sees in a tide pool from a hungry sea gull. She aptly names him Bean for his small size. Enamored with her new friend, Lula brings Bean all sorts of food: sandwiches, fruit, pastries, and even a jar of pickles. As their friendship flourishes, so does Bean’s size—so much so that he no longer fits on one page. When the bulldozers arrive to claim the beach, Lula finds the courage to stand up for her home and the home of “millions of creatures” like Bean. Latimer’s clever use of shadows and light helps convey the emotions of the protagonist while the bright, bold colors of the pencil-and-digital illustrations give life to the story’s otherwise simple text. The pink, squidlike Bean is perfectly adorable. Though Lula, her parents, and several background characters have varying hair colors, all appear light skinned.
A colorful and uplifting story that is more than just a beach read. (Picture book. 4-7)