Waiting for High Tide

Nikki McClure. Abrams, $19.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4197-1656-0
In contrast to the economy of some of her earlier creations, McClure (In) is lavish with words and images in a story that is a worthy heir to Robert McCloskey’s work. The boy who narrates sits beside a tidal pool—it’s the Salish Sea, the afterword explains, off Olympia, Wash. He wants to swim, but it’s low tide: “It seems like I spend every day all hot summer long waiting for the water to creep back over the mud.” His family begins work on a raft of logs. On a beachcombing expedition, the boy turns up “a true score—sunglasses with one lens gone and the other covered with barnacles. Now I have Barnacle Vision!” In McClure’s meticulously executed cut-paper illustrations, barnacles carpet the rocks, and birds dive and swoop. As the raft progresses, the boy is allowed to handle a hatchet to notch the logs. After the raft is launched, the family swims back to land in their clothes in a moment of joyous anarchy. The sense of place is so rich that it seems possible to smell the air and hear the gulls. Ages 5–7. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/25/2016
Release date: 04/05/2016
Genre: Children's
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