RaisingMom.ca Rating: ****Starred Review 4.5 Stars out of 5****
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From the Publisher:
Everything will be here when you wake…
A gentle, poetic lullaby for baby, filled with memories from a perfect day playing on the beach. Castles, sand dollars, seals peering out of the waves and the beat of the ocean become sweet reminders of all the magical things that await baby tomorrow. A lyrical celebration of natural beauty and a soft, reassuring reminder for little ones being tucked into bed that fun and adventure will return with a new day.
Elly MacKay’s paper-theater worlds are a delight to behold and infuse the story with a sense of magic and wonder. Beautiful verse from Laurie Elmquist sets a calm and serene tone. A breathtaking board book that will be treasured and make a wonderful gift.
This language and illustration-rich board book is a visual and auditory delight. Readers will enjoy the cadence of musical language (that is intentionally chosen to be soothing and descriptive). The intent is that this book is both a basic primer for seaside life as well as a soothing lullaby. The words are minimal, but lyrical. MacKay’s illustrations are colour rich, yet realistic and simple. Pages are not crowded, allowing for clear focus on the object (fantastic for young viewers). The colours used are muted and often move into dream-like smudges around the edges as the focus fades from the image. It is a perfect book to use to soothe the youngest readers into sleep for naps and bedtimes.
My twins (16 months) love this book. They eagerly point at images and after repeated reads, are able to point to the item as I say the word (e.g. starfish and sand dollar). I have used this several times at bed time and read it more than once at a sitting. Their faces light up when they see it! The book is fantastic to use to help them relax in preparation for sleep. We are also using it as a primer for an upcoming beach holiday.
- illustrations are realistic enough (while still dreamy) for children to recognize the item in real life
- richly colourful illustrations are large enough for even the youngest viewer to see and point to without pages being too busy or distracting
- language is rich and lyrical – truly evokes a song/poem
- words are meant to be soft and soothing – as intended (lullaby)
- too short! My kids and I wanted more pages and seaside organisms to explore
Why/How Use it with kids:
- as a pre-nap or bed book – the language is rich and soothing. Read it more than once to soothe into rest
- as a primer for a trip to the beach. Illustrations are rich and realistic enough for the animals to be recognized in real life once learned in the book
- for those children familiar to the beach, discuss what other sea life could be included – create more verses
- create a “lullaby” with animals/organisms in another ecosystem like a forest, pond, etc.
- create a tune to use to sing the words and/or read it in a melodic tone (like reading poetry)
About the Author & Illustrator:
Laurie Elmquist holds an MA in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Windsor in Ontario and has had short stories, memoir and poetry published in literary journals and anthologies. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia where she writes and teaches creative writing at Camosun College.
Elly MacKay lives in Owen Sound, Canada, with her husband and children. Her work has been featured in international publications, including O: The Oprah Magazine, Chatelaine and Cosmopolitan. She creates art using layers of paper, light and photography. Elly attended the Nova Scotia College of Art for printmaking and creates picture books and illustrates covers for novels.