A light-skinned mother and drowsy child prepare to leave the beach at the end of the day.
Elmquist starts off abruptly, with the mother assuring her child that “everything will be here when you wake,” leaving readers to infer the events of the day. Any disorientation will soon fade as she lists that “everything”: “Purple starfish / The goose waddling up from the bay / Sand dollars,” and more. The text is lyrical without attempting verse, descriptive phrases giving way to sentences without much structural logic but with greatly lulling effect: “The castle waits for you with its turrets and shells / while the moon snail is a mystery.” MacKay’s evocatively lit cut- and marbled-paper dioramas are equally soothing, rendered in pastel twilight tones that suit the mood. There are very few crisp edges and many hues blend together, adding to the ethereal effect but also gearing the book to older babies who do not require sharp contrast in order to distinguish images. Seals, sandpiper, pelicans, dolphins—and a whale not mentioned in the text but depicted in the final spread—also share the pages.
A seaside bedtime idyll. (Board book. 1-3)