cover image Night on the Sand

Night on the Sand

Monica Mayper, illus. by Jaime Kim. Clarion, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-328-88418-3

Following an unspecified disaster (“a howl,/ a dark whirl of wind and power”) that crumbles their home, two siblings make their way to a beach with only a blanket, an orange, and each other. With the moon and stars watching over the children (“We were not alone”), more people, portrayed with light skin, dot eyes, and straight brown hair, gather to sleep, “strewn on the shore like shells,/ like rocks, like driftwood.” The next morning, some start a fire and some share food; the siblings offer segments of their orange to the group as “the waves gently brushed the shore.” Soon they all spot a boat coming for them, knowing that they “could not go back.// Only on, to the new we did not know/ that waited on the other shore.” Focusing, per an author’s note, on “our human connection” over story specifics, Mayper writes in opaque prose whose vagueness gives the story an unmoored feel. Kim’s warm-hued, vividly wrought watercolor and digital art, meanwhile, focuses on the natural landscapes the individuals share. An author’s note concludes. Ages 4–7. (Aug.)