BEACH PARTY by Joanne Ryder


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A birthday party on the beach, all family warmth and cosy familiarity. Kate collects shells, as she does each year at Uncle Tony's birthday party. Peter and Rose jump in the waves and go with Mama on the rides. Raymond buries Uncle Tony. Later, Raymond is missing and searched for and turns up deep in a hole he's digging. Everyone eats around the fire, and then ""the family drew together and listened to the quiet sound of night."" And all the time little Dorothy is trying to remember the ""loud, scary, but nice"" thing she liked best about last year's beach party. Then come the weekend fireworks and Dorothy remembers, as everyone sighs ""ooooooooh!"" and ""ahhhhhh."" Stanley pictures the family as white lambs in clothing; she outlines and shades them in dots, which gives them a cuddly, stuffed-toy look; and her clear, deep colors and horizontal scenes, with sun and moon low on the ocean horizon, drive home the mellow mood. The text alone, like others of Ryder's, is nice but a bit limp. The pictures give it definition, but only by imposing a seductive cuteness that soon cloys.

Pub Date: April 22nd, 1982
Publisher: Warne