cover image Beach Feet

Beach Feet

Kiyomi Konagaya, trans. from the Japanese by Yuki Kaneko, illus. by Masamitsu Saito. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59270-121-6

Short, sweet, and staccato, the words of this Japanese collaboration focus on one child, one summer excursion, and one very particular set of feet. So evocatively does poet Konagaya observe the experiences of feet at the beach, and so vividly does artist Saito record them, that to read this book is to be transported straight to the seaside. “Ow, ow, ow!” cries a mop-haired child who could be a girl or boy, dashing across hot sand. “I have to run quickly into the water.” With a yellow tube gripped tightly just above the waist, the child approaches the waves. “Ahhh, the wet sand feels good. Cool and soft.” With energetic pastel lines, Saito draws feet on moist sand. Wild, white spray and blue bubbles wash past, and adorable toes wiggle in the foreground as the child pushes through the next wave. Casual scribbles evoke the movement of the water, its chilly blue depths, and the rocking of the waves. Big forms provide motion and action, while the artwork gives the pages a sense of velvety luxury. A small-scale creation that yields unexpected richness of experience. Ages 3–7. (June)