As in In the Garden and In the Woods (both 2012), a young boy enjoys life in the great outdoors.
Here, he delights in a day at the beach. One, two or three words on each page make up the rhyming text: “Sun Sky / Shore Boy // Sand Pail / Spade Toy.” The youngster makes a sand birthday cake with his shovel and pail, but an inevitable wave destroys it. His mother, nearby, comforts him with a picnic lunch and a “Lap Nap” as he dreams of the sea. Oliphant’s soft drawings, which look to be a mix of watercolor and colored pencil, capture the flow of sand and water well, though beach-going children will wonder at the pair’s solitude on this apparently perfect summer day.
While the youngster was pleasingly more self-reliant and self-assured in previous offerings, his play and his interactions with the natural world continue to ring true. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)