Out of the Blue

Alison Jay. Barefoot, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-78285-042-7
Using her trademark whimsy-tinged, oil-and–crackling varnish paintings, Jay (A Gift for Mama) takes readers on a wordless fantasy adventure at the seashore. A boy who lives in a towering red-and-white lighthouse begins his day with a beach exploration, accompanied by his dog and cat, and equipped with a pail and shovel. He soon meets a girl who is a kindred beachcombing, animal-loving spirit. After a day of finding treasures in the sand, high tide and rough seas roll in. The next morning, the boy, his new friend, and a fleet of creatures including dolphins, whales, and seals all work to rescue a giant octopus left tangled in a net in the storm’s wake. Jay skillfully highlights the small and large dramas of both days, which involve a busy cast of sunbathers, fishermen, swimmers, surfers, a scuba diver, and myriad shore critters in the background. Though readers can create their own narratives, end pages provide information on the giant octopus, several tidal animals, and lighthouses for those eager to learn more about the book’s evocative setting. All ages. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/07/2014
Release date: 06/01/2014
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