A child waits for the tide to rise, working alongside Mama and Papa to construct a log raft and observing coastal creatures the whole long, hot while.
Readers turn over shells, clams, gulls, logs, mud, herons, crabs, rocks, salt, and seaweed as the child encounters the ever changing tidal world. The child’s narration (flowing, lengthy, and studded with stunningly specific marine-life facts and observations) allows readers to experience the elongated day of waiting and elated discovery. The child’s enthusiasm gives up pearls: “the best part about barnacles is the noise they make. Miles and miles of tiny plates shifting about make a crackly, squizzling sound. Maybe they tell stories of all they saw with that one eye as they swam about in the world?” Astounding full-bleed, cut-paper illustrations (in black and white with isolated use of pink and blue) appear opposite the narrative—muted, matte, and miraculous. Clumped kelp, rippling water, clambering crabs, banks of barnacles, round cheeks, the curvature, of feathers and barbed beaks, bark on logs—all achieve extraordinary, evocative clarity through lacy cutouts within the context of gratifying, gorgeous compositions.
The tide has brought an extraordinary book to our shores. (Picture book. 4-10)