Lizzie’s companion is a big, blue inflatable seal named Lou.
The water toy is bigger than the impish, little white girl, but Lizzie manages to carry and drag Lou Seal out of the family’s beach trailer down to the shore. There’s one problem: the seal has lost its “puff.” Lizzie never noticed that the animal has been pierced by a sharp piece of wood. She was busy pulling her polka-dot flip-flop, named Dottie One, off a wad of gum stuck to the boardwalk. As Lizzie pulls Lou Seal along, other items puncture her exterior: “Purple shells! Seaglass! Starfish!” When Lizzie is ready to swim, the toy looks deflated, but the resilient girl knows what to do. She drags the toy back to the trailer, discovers holes, patches them with stickers, and blows Lou Seal up. Since she has lost Dottie Two in the sea, she finds her flippers and carries the seal back to the waves, proudly showing off their matching accessories. Lizzie’s independence is refreshing, but some readers will note the absence of an adult supervising swimming in such heavy surf. Mixed-media pictures are at their most exciting when painterly waves crash against the shore, and onomatopoeic words in display type (“step thwack” when Lizzie has only one flip-flop, and “scooch scooch scooch” as Lou Seal travels through the sand) add to the fun in reading aloud.
An amusing if slight addition to beach reading. (Picture book. 3-6)