cover image SEA, SAND, ME!


Patricia Hubbell, , illus. by Lisa Campbell Ernst. . HarperCollins, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-17378-4

Mother and daughter pack up the car and head for a day of sand and surf in this wisp of a tale. All kinds of fun await them, including a new friend for the girl, a boy who loves exploring and sand castles as much as she does. "We jump, jump, jump/ In the curly-whirly wave./ Cold water doesn't scare us/ 'Cause we're brave, brave, brave," goes Hubbell's (Bouncing Time) text, as Ernst (Stella Louella's Runaway Book) shows the pair leaping into a fingered curl of the friendly-looking, blue-green surf. The various attractions of the setting are catalogued, but the verses occasionally seem constructed to adhere to the rhyme scheme ("Sand in our belly buttons./ Sand in our pants./ We jump in the water/ And dance, dance, dance"), and the straight-on perspective in the illustrations teeters on monotonous. Ages 3-8. (June)