On a family trip to the beach, Anna Hibiscus convinces her extended family to join her, splashing and laughing in the waves.
Like Anna Hibiscus’ Song (2011) and chapter books starring this irrepressible child, this celebrates Anna’s family and her home in “amazing Africa.” This beach trip starts on the front endpapers, where careful readers can pick out the boat that will carry her whole family through the title page and to a beach offshore. There, everyone happily finds things to do—read, braid each other’s hair, bury a cousin in the sand, play soccer, chat with the fishermen, compare smartphones. They’re all too busy to play in the waves with Anna. After being turned down by each group of family members (except for her napping grandparents), Anna goes to play with the waves on her own. Worried child readers (and adults) will quickly be relieved; Anna’s enjoyment of the gentle surf is infectious, and she’s soon surrounded by cousins, parents, aunts and uncles, and even the now wide-awake grandparents. Tobia’s joyous illustrations portray this extended family realistically in digitally colored drawings. Only Anna and her Canadian mother have actual bathing suits; the others happily plunge in in their street clothes. Everyone smiles; Anna is irresistible.
North American readers and listeners are likely to catch Anna’s enthusiasm just as quickly. (Picture book. 3-7)