cover image Beach House

Beach House

Deanna Caswell, illus. by Amy June Bates. Chronicle, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4521-2408-7

After a long drive from their suburban neighborhood, a family of five arrives at an idyllic cottage that rests on a quiet section of beachfront. Once they have unpacked, they schlep their beach supplies to the sand: "Goggles, swimmies,/ masks, and fins./ Buckets, shovels./ Fun begins!" writes Caswell (Train Trip) in punchy rhymes. Throughout the day, the family members%E2%80%94a young mother and father, two boys, a girl, and their small dog%E2%80%94splash in the waves, build sand castles, fly kites, dig for clams, and roast hotdogs over a fire. Bates's (Sweet Dreams) light-filled watercolor and pencil illustrations have a languidness that emphasizes basking in the pleasures of the moment. After a cozy bedtime routine, the youngest boy and the black-and-white pup gaze out the window at the moonlit waves: "Ocean hushes,/ palm trees sway./ Tomorrow's just/ a sleep away." Author and artist convey the breathless joy of a day spent at the ocean%E2%80%94and the assurance that there will be more to come%E2%80%94in this warm celebration of the family vacation. Ages 3%E2%80%935. Illustrator's agency: Shannon Associates. (May)