A cute, curly-headed boy and his young mother, both Caucasian, head to the beach for a day of collecting seashells.
Over the dune they run, and the treasure hunt ensues, expressed in simple rhyming couplets: “With pail and shovel in my hand, / my toes squish in cool, wet sand.” Boy and mother together discover the beauty and variety of shells on a wide, rolling, sandy beach. The boy is entranced by the sound of the sea when he presses a giant whelk to his ear. Counting and natural science are both featured, and the collection the boy displays when he gets home serves to identify 10 shells by their popular names: whelk, limpet, conch, oyster, scallop, cone snail, mussel, moon snail, razor and clam. The straightforward text is considerably enhanced by the beautifully rendered illustrations, which use cut-paper and collage techniques to create bright, attractive beach scenes. Illustrator Kreloff employs photographed textures, torn and cut papers, airbrushing and paint washes to bring to life the magic of the day. The closing spreads are visually exquisite, with long shadows and touches of pink and deep yellow added to convey colors of a classic summer sunset.
A charming beach-day book to share with a young child beginning to show interest in the natural world. (Picture book. 3-6)