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THE BIG BIG SEA by Martin Waddell


by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Jennifer Eachus

Age Range: 3 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 1-56402-066-5
Publisher: Candlewick

 The indefatigable Waddell (Little Mo, 1993, etc.) shines with this tale of memory-making. A mother and daughter head out into the night, on their way to the nearby sea. The town across the bay is picked out in lights, the moon low and full, the atmosphere quietly charged. They step into the dark water, splash and laugh, swim out deep. Back on shore, they are enchanted by the steady oceanic pulse--the waves are like a campfire, suspending time. Much later, they head for the sanctuary of home and sleep. Waddle again is paired with a crackerjack illustrator. Eachus's use of color pencils conjures a feeling of conspiracy between mother and daughter, although some of the drawings have a pewter finish that cuts into their warmth. Clearly, memories are made of such stuff, but the touch is light; the spare text doesn't allow for ham-handedness. (Picture book. 3+)