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BEACH by Elisha Cooper Kirkus Star


by Elisha Cooper & illustrated by Elisha Cooper

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: June 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-439-68785-3
Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Another charmer from Cooper, who, with his signature impressionistic, diminutive figures and scenes, delivers a perfect day at the beach, observing people, paraphernalia and nature. Panoramic views appose Lilliputian visual narratives—a woman pulling a wagon packed with toys and kids, a boy pretending he’s a sea turtle as the waves carry him out, kids building a sand castle and a dog barking at waves. People are depicted like embellished artists’ wooden movable figures, jointed but amorphous in detail, and the simple daubs of paint generate motion like a handful of animation cels or a flip book. Masterful page composition creates a cinematic effect by panning from double spreads of the far-reaching vista to close-up pages of layered tiers of miniature dioramic scenes that are both graceful and fluid. As soothing and satisfying as the spray from dancing waves, sand between your toes and sun-warmed, waist-high water, this is as close as you can get to the beach without getting wet. As daylight ebbs, the beach empties but leaves behind “a day to remember when the beach is far away.” (Picture book. 4-8)