Book: Beach House
Author: Deanna Caswell
Illustrator: Amy June Bates
Age Range: 3-5
Beach House, written by Deanna Caswell and illustrated by Amy June Bates, is a celebration of the simple joys of a family visit to the beach. A family with two older kids and a toddler arrives with their overstuffed minivan at a small house next to a quiet beach.
In rhyming text, Caswell leads the reader through the day, from the impatience of the kids to get to the beach to their time playing in the water and building sand castles to them finally going to sleep, sun-burned, exhausted, and happy.
Caswell uses brief sentences in rhyming couplets, like this:
"Castles rise. Moats are filled.
One can readily imagine a board book version of this text, though Bates' watercolor and pencil illustrations deserve full picture book treatment (as is the case here). The family is rendered with just enough detail to give readers a sense of each family member's personality. We see a hint of diaper peeping out the back of the youngest's bathing trunks, and the joy of the older brother doing a little jig as he finally is able to head to the beach. There are amusing details, like the dad so laden with stuff for the brief walk to the beach that one can barely see him at all. And there is the expanse of sand, surf, and sky, perfectly suited to Bates' watercolor medium.
Beach House made me long for a tiny cottage by the shore, and time to spend there with my family. It would make a nice bedtime read-aloud for preschoolers, sending them off to dream of the ocean. I'm not sure the text has enough complexity to hold the attention of older kids through repeated readings, but those familiar with the joys of beach days will find that Beach House makes them smile.
Publisher: Chronicle Books (@ChronicleKids)
Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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