From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3–As the day begins, the beach is empty, waiting to be filled. Cooper opens with a gorgeous stretch of sand in sun-flecked, amber-white watercolors, bounded by a sea so darkly blue that it seems still half-asleep. In the following pages, he tells the story, mainly in detailed splashes of paint, of the people and things that transform the quiet area into a lively spot. Readers will enjoy the affectionate portraits of swimmers, kite-flyers, sunbathers, seagulls, and barking dogs. A struggle with an inner tube or a beach umbrella, the people who go into the water but forget that they are still wearing their glasses, the clouds that look like spilled popcorn: here, as in life, it's the little things that snag readers' attention. Cooper's portrayal of a day at the shore is generous with such minutiae; his fondness for his subject is evident and infectious. As the beach once again empties at the end of the story, it's tempting to return to the first page, to a hundred possible activities at the shore–none of which is more earthshaking than a toppled sandcastle.–Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
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K-Gr. 2. Cooper creates a paean to the pleasures of a day spent near, on, and in the water. Generous double-page spreads, which extend a full 20 inches across, convey an expansive sense of the sand and sky, and show the beach as it fills with bathers engaged in a variety of activities. Even the sky becomes crowded as clouds roll in. The pleasantly fluid watercolors, given definition by thin brush lines, work better on the panoramic double-page spreads than on pages with multiple vignettes, which, despite brief descriptive captions, lack enriching details. Even so, the book successfully evokes the fun and feeling of a day at the beach and the myriad things that can and do happen at the shore. Use this with John Burningham's humorous Time to Come Away from the Water, Shirley
(1977). John Warren StewigCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved