When a family vacation ends, sometimes that’s when imagination begins. How else does one manage the loss of ocean breezes and sand between the toes?
A calm palette of yellows, browns, and grays with touches of blue allows readers to experience the post-holiday disappointment of a young girl and her younger brother in a quiet, gentle way. Rather than offering loud screaming colors and mouths drawn like gaping maws of displeasure, Delacroix shows readers a quieter examination, turning frustration into whimsy. When the girl discovers that she has come home from their summer vacation at the beach with a shoe full of sand, she begins pouring it onto the ground. Her brother asks what she is doing, and she answers: “I have all these grains of sand, and I don’t want to throw them away… I know! Let’s plant them!” The two then embark on an adventure, picturing the harvest of their beach sand as bright yellow beach umbrellas or a field filled with ice cream cones, lemon flavored—if you please. Words are delivered as spare accompaniment to the beautiful, lush, almost tactile artwork. Expressions of sadness soon turn joyous with each imagined scenario. The siblings are both pale-skinned, the girl with a straight, black pageboy and the boy with a blond mop.
Delacroix’s idyll allows young readers to discover new, exciting surprises in the pictures again and again upon second, third, and 33rd readings—as captivating as an ocean breeze and soothing as a hug. (Picture book. 4-7)