From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3–Arnosky, inspired by visits to 26 beaches along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, invites readers to take long walks along the beach and highlights some of the interesting things that they might discover there. The cover and many of the interior spreads are designed to look like a hand-sewn journal. Protected by a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunblock and carrying a pail, a cartoon version of the author looks for crabs, coral, shark teeth, and other items. From the more commonplace (seashells) to the rare and captivating Sea Beans (the seeds of trees that grow along the Amazon), a variety of treasures are identified and described in the conversational text and pastel artwork. Youngsters are encouraged to examine gently and release any living creatures. Warnings against touching jellyfish are included; unfortunately, the spread about these animals is disappointingly vague and only the Portuguese Man-of-War is identified. Still, young beachcombers will discover old and new ideas about collecting or just identifying their finds, and the book will appeal to those children who are looking for relaxing fun.–Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA
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PreS-Gr. 2. Beachcombing
offers a vicarious tour of the treasures found on a typical tropical beach. Arnosky directs his text straight to young people, offering advice on how to get started (sun protection) and how to identify the animals and plants they might see. On spreads that shimmer with aquamarine blues and shell pinks, he paints a variety of seashore animals, often in silhouette to emphasize shape differences between species. The text is casual and unscientific, but in a few places, it's so simple that it's confusing; one spread explains that palm trees grow from coconuts but doesn't mention that a coconut is a seed. The pictures are enticing, though, and Arnosky's enthusiastic, eco-conscious guide will delight young children. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved