Sisters expand their world after a memorable week at the ocean with their parents.
Driving to the ocean for their first time ever, “adventure-y” Alix and her older, more cautious sister, Jools, envision “white sand and turquoise water and palm trees.” Arriving at the rental beach house, they discover “grayish green” water with “large and startling” waves. Nevertheless, as the week unfolds, they take long beach walks, build fabulous sand castles, search for periwinkles to eat, and fashion beach glass into necklaces. Alix becomes pals with their landlady’s granddaughter while Jools and her father visit an interesting old lighthouse. A family outing to a wildlife refuge seems like a “boring walk through deserted places” until they spy raccoons and Alix holds an injured falcon. By week’s end, Alix thinks how different their vacation has been than she expected and wonders “what amazing thing would happen next.” Perkins proves experiences do not have to be extraordinary to be life-changing as she insightfully describes Alix’s and Jools’ savoring the sights, smells, sounds, and simple pleasures of the ocean, perfectly captured in comfortable prose. Precise black-and-white illustrations add humor and insight to the sisters’ seaside adventures, depicting Alix’s family with pale skin and their landlady’s with dark.
Gentle, satisfying family-oriented fare for pre-vacation reading. (Fiction. 8-12)