From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3--In this rhyming text, a young girl accumulates a dozen shells as a gift for Grandma's birthday. Watercolor seashore vistas feature blonde Sue as she enlists her brother and his friend in finding her treasures. A vertical bar on the left side of each spread gathers the labeled collection together for viewing as the day progresses. Berkes offers ample facts in her rhymes, and gives a short paragraph of information on each type of shell on a spread at the end. Though informative, the text occasionally trails into trite rhyming pairs such as, "How the seashells glisten/In the sun that shines from heaven./Here's a bumpy Oyster Shell/So that makes seven." Noreika's detailed, realistic shell studies gracefully contrast with the misty landscapes that capture a range of unique seaside hues. While the tear-out identification card for readers to use as they roam the shore may soon be lost, young beachcombers will still be able to appreciate this lesson.
Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Ages 4-7. Through a lyrical counting rhyme, children accompany Sue as she walks the shore, collecting seashells for her grandmother. The rhythmic lines reinforce numbers 1 through 12, while describing individual shells and explaining what shells are and how they came to be on the sandy shore. The strongstroked watercolor art subtly educates, depicting not only the traditional sweep of wide, clean, swimmers' beach but also the rougher edges of the shore. It's along the shore that sea birds prowl alongside Sue, among the large, rough boulders and between the feathers, driftwood, and other ocean debris caught in tangles of dried seaweed and rocks. With each turn of the page, a new shell is discovered, identified, and displayed in the wide left margin. At rhyme's end, the text elaborates on the poem's basic facts, delivering details about each particular shell. A seashell identification chart completes an instructive shell hunt that children will enjoy even if they can't feel the sun on their backs or sand between their toes. Ellen Mandel
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