SAND DOLLAR, SAND DOLLAR by Joyce Audy dos Santos


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Blue sea and sky; sand beach and boy; dull green grass and sea animals; with white for the gulls, sea foam, and (smartly) the outlines, as well as for the boy's sand-spotted, blue-eyed dog: dos Santos' flat, two-color illustrations give the impression that we are viewing the scenery in the glare of the sun. They are simple and effective, and her short text is equally bare and direct. It has Peter, in beach hat and spotted swim trunks, show up at the beach with his dog Urchin and start right in on a sandcastle, which is then smashed by waves. Throwing rocks at the sea, Peter finds a sand dollar--""Maybe it's magic""--and throws it into the water with a chant designed to keep the ""cold blue waves"" away. It works. The waves slip back. But what is Urchin sniffing in a puddle way up on the sand? A flounder, ""flopping helplessly."" ""What have I done?"" asks Peter, saying it all in four words. So he calls the waves and the sea urchin back, and waits. ""Finally, he noticed the water inching closer. It reached out for the little flounder. . . ."" There's not a distancing word about tides or a false or unnecessary one about Peter's view of things--just an artist-observer's view of the scene, with Peter at the center.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1980
Publisher: Lippincott