A little dog named Sukie overcomes her fear of all things “beachy” in this new picture book.
Sukie, a small black-and-white dog that has the look of a hound, will not budge when Eleanor, a child of color with light brown skin and curly dark hair, encourages her to come down the steps to the beach. Italicized text gets into Sukie’s canine mind to detail her many fears as justification for staying put with the stuffed toy monkey Chunka Munka beside her. Eleanor brings them both down the stairs, but fearful Sukie refuses to play with a beach ball or to romp in the waves, and her list of fears expands, sometimes varying in particulars but always ending with one about the titular lobsters. “But Sukie was just a small dog, / and the beach ball was big and beachy, / and it might hit her in the nose, / and then it would pop, / and it might be too loud, / …and, besides, beach balls attract lobsters.” But then Chunka Munka is pulled out to sea by the tides, and Sukie heroically swims out to rescue her. There’s ample humor in the watercolor, acrylic, and ink illustrations and heaping doses of compassion, too. Sly inclusions of lobsters in the details, in particular, will provoke readers’ laughter as they cheer on Sukie and applaud Eleanor’s pluck and patience.
Just “beachy.” (Picture book. 3-6)