The wonders of a winter walk.
This charming outing delights in many ways. First, the entire story is told with s-words, adjectives, verbs, and nouns: scruffy, slosh, and, best of all, standstill, as the two beachgoers, an adult and a child, encounter something special. Read more closely, it’s a poem with a pleasing rhythm and repetitions and a balanced, grammatical structure (explained further in an afterword). The text sits directly on full-bleed illustrations with just one or two lines to a spread, sometimes only a word. Pacing is also indicated with ellipses and page turns. “Slow steps—shuffle, straddle, saunter…sand” take the pair to the beach. Later there’s a “Steady step, solid step, shaky step…stumble,” and finally “Swift steps—scamper, scuttle, scurry…shower” before bedtime. Lechuga’s illustrations, done in an appropriately wintry, bleached-out palette, add depth and detail. The two have pale skin and straight light and darker brown hair for child and adult respectively. They dress appropriately for a cold winter walk. The adult’s A-shaped figure suggests possible pregnancy. The child carries a doll, which also wears a knitted cap. The beach they visit is full of wonders. Most astonishing are the crabs—who return, in this well-rounded tale, in a shared bedtime story. The winter landscape and changing sky are carefully depicted with added watercolor textures. One striking scene is a spread full of seabirds taking off as the girl approaches. “Super!”
Splendid for storytimes or snuggles.(suggestions for exploring the beach in winter) (Picture book. 3-7)