cover image The Seashore Book

The Seashore Book

Charlotte Zolotow. HarperCollins, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-020213-2

When a boy asks his mother, ``What is the seashore like?'' she lovingly describes what might happen if they spent a day together in the sand. Zolotow's images are tactile, vivid and musical: cold sea water makes the boy's ``skin feel like peppermint''; he sees the sandpipers' ``claw prints / like pencil lines in the sand''; and the ``swishswashing sound'' of the waves in the afternoon lulls him to sleep. Sometimes the text seems at variance with the art--as when Zolotow describes the boy running after an airplane's shadow and twirling himself around until he falls down in the sand, and Minor portrays him waving at the orange airplane--but this is a small caveat in an otherwise notable book. As in Sierra and Heartland, Minor's crisply detailed watercolors evoke place with imaginative accuracy and visual grace, and Zolotow's ( Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present ; William's Doll ) spare, poetic text provides a lyrical and nostalgic paean to the wonders of seaside life. The striking typeface and overall design contribute to an uncommonly handsome presentation. Ages 3-8. (May)