By: Richard Michelson
Illustrated by: Doris Ettlinger
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Publication Date: January 2014
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: January 5, 2014
The arms wave up and down, the legs move rapidly back and forth as the little girl makes an angel in the sand. “A is for Angel,” but we can find all the letters in the alphabet as we spend our days on the sand and watch the sea caress the shore. “B is for Boardwalk,” a place that explodes with activity. You can see everyone as they swim and relax on the beach, but there’s lot of fun to be had alongside the sand on those boards. There are yummy snacks to be had at the Snack Shack, but perhaps you’d like a bit of ice cream while you listen to a girl play a guitar. Have you been to the arcade yet?
There’s the boy who smiles widely while he stands next to his sand castle as a dog runs free to chase the gulls. “E is for Empty Shells” as they look back at you from the smiley face in the sand.
F is for Flip-Flops
Winter is buckles and shoehorns and laces
And wingtips, galoshes, and high-tops,
But summer is giggles and smiling faces
and wiggling our toes into flip-flops.
Watch closely as those gulls swoop down from the sky to grab that fry from your hands. There’s plenty to see and do on the beach during the summer, including finding that “gift from the ocean,” a piece of precious sea glass.
N is for Nautilus
We live upon the ocean floor
Before the age of the dinosaur
Yet we’ve survived, we’re doing fine
Due to our shell’s spiral design.
This is a beautiful, lyrical book about the beach that children of all ages will love to explore. Richard Michelson makes use of many types of verse from ballad to haiku and free verse to lure the reader to the seashore. The verse lulls and lures the reader back to the shore prompting the senses to remember the sights and sounds the beach makes as we take an A to Z walk. Doris Ettlinger’s magnificent watercolors compliment the verse and bring the beach alive in all its splendor. The flow of the verse is perfect and kept me moving through the book waiting for yet another surprise to remind me of my own days at the beach. This would be an excellent addition to any library or classroom shelf!
Quill says: This is a wonderful A to Z book that’s perfect to share with your youngster who loves the seashore!