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BEACH PLAY by Marsha Hayles


by Marsha Hayles & illustrated by Hideko Takahashi

Age Range: 4 - 9

Pub Date: May 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-8050-4271-7
Publisher: Henry Holt

Hayles’s salute to a day at the beach is tendered in short, high-stepping rhymes: “Splashing/Dashing/Big wave crashing.” The minimalist story concerns a small girl and her beachside endeavors: playing in the sand and surf, eating lunch, lolling in the water (where she finds a bottle with a message), and preparing to leave. A pleasing pace and energy inform these pages; firmly wedded to them and adding immeasurably to the day-at-the-beach atmosphere are Takahashi’s acrylic illustrations, bright, immediate, and full of unusual perspectives. In a generous final touch, tucked away on the copyright page in the back, the message in the bottle is revealed: It’s a note sent from the other side of the ocean, from a child in search of a pen pal, and signed “Hideko.” (Picture book. 4-9)