cover image Beachy and Me

Beachy and Me

Bob Staake. Random House, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-385-37314-2

Alone in her island lighthouse, Pixie Picklespeare is bored—but not for long. A whale gets stranded on her beach, and now she has a new problem: “She pushed the whale/ She heaved and shoved./ He just had too much blubber!” Staake (My Pet Book) plays up the contrast between the enormous midnight-blue whale (“Hello—my name is Beachy!”) and tiny Pixie, whose tongue lolls out from the exhaustion of trying to free her new friend. Yet the two share the same wide-eyed glee in a characteristically Staake salute to mid-20th-century cartoon art. High tide frees Beachy, and the two enjoy deep-ocean fun in a series of spreads, diving, leaping, and tumbling as Pixie rides on Beachy’s back and follows him under the waves. She’s heartbroken when he migrates (“Beachy listened to his heart./ It told him ‘Time to sail!’ ”), but he returns after a few pages. Staake’s adventure offers eye-popping color, a wealth of sea life, and the entrancing vision of a companion who appears intimidating but is actually as devoted as a puppy. Ages 3–7. [em]Agent: Gillian MacKenzie, Gillian MacKenzie Agency. (May) [/em]