This warm and accessible memoir of Aliki's childhood days at the beach with her extended family is a tone poem that vividly reflects a wealth of detail. All the senses are elicited through fine wordsmithing, from the stickiness of wet sand on the skin to the smells of saltwater taffy, barnacles, and seaweed. There's a dark side to the sunny picture: a brief mention of a child who drowned in the undertow, an incident that (true to the child's world) receives less ink than the terror of listening to the Shadow on the radio at night. In contrast to the excellent text, the pictures—though pleasant in every way—are almost irrelevant; Aliki (My Visit to the Aquarium, 1993, etc.) paints what has already been amply evoked in the magic of her words. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8) Read full book review >
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