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by Michael Paraskevas ; illustrated by Michael Paraskevas

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: May 14th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-307-97892-9
Publisher: Random House

Taffy Saltwater and her friends set out to build the most spectacular sand castle ever.

When Taffy and her animated stuffed bunny, Rigby Rabbit, and two-legged beach ball, Rollo, arrive at the beach, they are greeted by the sights, sounds and crowds of the boardwalk. When the wind blows Rollo and the beach umbrella far away, Taffy and an ever-growing posse ride the enormous, animate blow-up toy, Bob the Sea Monster, far away from the crowds to where Rollo has come to rest. When this gaudy troupe—which includes Mr. Footer the Hot Dog Man, Edna the Lemon-Ice Lady and Chris the Lifeguard—makes it to the unpopulated beach, they finally build their castle, and it’s a beauty. On each page, three little human boys watch all the action, finally hopping on the blow-up monster and helping with the eventual castle building. No explanation is given for their presence, leaving readers to wonder who they are and why they join Taffy. The absence of caregiving adults also strikes an odd chord. Occasionally, some of the words in the text are printed in oversized font, but there is no apparent rhyme or reason to this. Supersaturated colors and a cartoonish style add to the fantastical elements of the story and make the bustle of the boardwalk even busier—and a bit more sinister—than life.

 A muddled and not particularly pleasant tale of a day at the beach. (Picture book. 3-6)