This mother-daughter beach outing features an added layer: Throughout the day, they use American Sign Language to communicate.
The child narrates their activities with delightfully descriptive simplicity: “Take my arms / and hold on tight / roll me in the sand / dip me in the sea.” They dance and spin, splash in the waves, swim, build a sand castle and watch the sunset. Gentle pencil-and-watercolor paintings capture the scenes and will lead youngsters to imagine the feelings of a soft sea breeze and the sun on their faces. The warm golden light suffusing the images emphasizes the loving bond between the two. Looking deeper, children will notice hands embracing, fingers touching, hands and fingers shaping words. In addition, one word in each passage appears in red type. This word is then featured in a sidebar illustrating the sign. When done, readers will have learned how to sign 15 words. In her author’s note, Napoli describes her work on sign languages and encourages the curious to do their own research.
A memorable excursion. (Picture book. 3-6)