Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Take a Trip to the Beach in a Book!

Here in Southern California, graduation parties are in full swing and beach weather has arrived. Whether or not you live anywhere near an ocean, nothing screams "summer" more than the thought of the sand and surf! Take a trip to the sea in one of these unique books...

RHINOS WHO SURF, by Julie Mammano (for ages 3-5) A bright picture book, with playful text, and even a surf lingo glossary! Hilarious!

WAVE by Suzy Lee. (ages 3-5) Discover with your child the sense of wonder that the ocean inspires through a little girl's day at the beach in this wordless picture book.

FLOTSAM by David Wiesner. Another beautiful wordless picture book. (ages 4 and up) A boy finds a camera at the beach and the film inside reveals fascinating underwater pictures as well as children around the world, so the boy takes his own picture and returns the camera to the sea where it will journey to another child. (Caldecott 2007)

BATS AT THE BEACH by Brian Lies. (ages 4-8) An unconvential beach story about bats visiting the beach in the moonlight.  This fun picture book is full of stunning illustrations, revealing how the bats travel silently throught the night with picnic baskets, moon-tan lotion, and kites.

KERMIT THE HERMIT by Bill Peet (ages 5-8) Wonderful story told in rhyme (Dr. Seuss style) about a Hermit Crab. Kermit is a "selfish shellfish" who hoards all kinds of unnecessary things. He is saved from a near mishap by a boy and discovers the value of sharing. My kids asked for this story over and over. Mr. Peet was a top writer and illustrator for several of DISNEY'S animated films, before becoming a children's book author/illustrator in the 1960's.

HATTIE AND THE WILD WAVES, by Barbara Cooney (for ages 5-8) Read this picture book about a little girl who lives by the sea, off the New England Coast at the turn of the century. Her dream is to become an artist. You'll love the richly detailed paintings as much as your child will!

ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS, by Scott O'Dell (for ages 10-13) A 1961 Newbury Medal was awarded to this riveting novel. The book was inspired by the real-life story of a 12-year-old American Indian girl, Karana, and her fight for survival on the island of San Nicholas, off the coast of Santa Barbara, CA. Definitely in our Top-Ten-Family-Favorites!  
Do you have a favorite beach book?
You might also like Night of the Moonjellies by Mark Shasha (click the title to read my past post.)


  1. Do please come and link up to my themed carnival of children's literature which I hosted yesterday - the theme was... the seaside! How serendipitous. Some of my favourite books with a seaside setting which haven't been mentioned yet are the Katie Morag books - set on a Scottish island so the sea and the coast are an ever present feature.

    1. I've never heard of the Katie Morag books. I'll have to see if I can find them at our library. I'd love to join up with your carnival. Thank you! :)

  2. Sorry, here's the link should you wish to add your post: http://www.playingbythebook.net/2012/06/11/im-looking-for-a-book-about-the-seaside/

  3. SO glad you came and added this post! Here are the details of upcoming themed carnivals: http://www.playingbythebook.net/im-looking-for-a-book-about/ Next two are July 8 – Space (planets, solar system, space travel)
    August 12 – (Starting) school
    Do hope you'll be able to join in :)

    1. Thanks so much - I've got this on my radar now. :)

  4. Wow! These looks great! Hattie and the Wild Waves looks especially good.