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Beach Feet

Overview

The story of a boy's visit to the beach, Beach Feet opens with a small boy feeling the heat of the sand and then running towards the ocean. Free and independent despite his young age and the tube around his waist, the boy gives himself over to the ocean and the pleasures to be had at water’s edge. Throughout, the boy's connection to the beach through his feet—the feel of sand, shells, water—is never lost. Unusual perspectives and a pitch-perfect voice make this a standout.

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Overview

The story of a boy's visit to the beach, Beach Feet opens with a small boy feeling the heat of the sand and then running towards the ocean. Free and independent despite his young age and the tube around his waist, the boy gives himself over to the ocean and the pleasures to be had at water’s edge. Throughout, the boy's connection to the beach through his feet—the feel of sand, shells, water—is never lost. Unusual perspectives and a pitch-perfect voice make this a standout.

Kiyomi Konagaya was born in 1936 in Shizuoka, Japan. At university, he studied English literature and published his poetry in literary magazines. After graduation, he took a job at an advertising agency. In 1977 he won the prestigious Mr. H Award (for new poets) for Little Voyage 26. He also won the twenty-first Takami Jun Prize in 1991, and the twenty-fifth Contemporary Poetry Award in 2007.

Masamitsu Saito was born in 1958 in a seaside town along Kujyukuri Beach in Chiba, so he grew up to the sound of waves. He studied graphic design at Tama Art University. His work can be found in magazines and books, as well as on chocolate packages.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Short, sweet, and staccato, the words of this Japanese collaboration focus on one child, one summer excursion, and one very particular set of feet. So evocatively does poet Konagaya observe the experiences of feet at the beach, and so vividly does artist Saito record them, that to read this book is to be transported straight to the seaside. “Ow, ow, ow!” cries a mop-haired child who could be a girl or boy, dashing across hot sand. “I have to run quickly into the water.” With a yellow tube gripped tightly just above the waist, the child approaches the waves. “Ahhh, the wet sand feels good. Cool and soft.” With energetic pastel lines, Saito draws feet on moist sand. Wild, white spray and blue bubbles wash past, and adorable toes wiggle in the foreground as the child pushes through the next wave. Casual scribbles evoke the movement of the water, its chilly blue depths, and the rocking of the waves. Big forms provide motion and action, while the artwork gives the pages a sense of velvety luxury. A small-scale creation that yields unexpected richness of experience. Ages 3–7. (June)
From the Publisher

BEACH FEET has been selected for this year's New York Public Library list, Children's Books 2012: 100 Books for Reading and Sharing

BEACH FEET has been selected as a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews

"This one — a sunny, vibrant gem — is sublime." -- New York Times

“So evocatively does poet Konagaya observe the experiences of feet at the beach, and so vividly does artist Saito record them, that to read this book is to be transported straight to the seaside. […] Big forms provide motion and action, while the artwork gives the pages a sense of velvety luxury. A small-scale creation that yields unexpected richness of experience.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

"Succinct, moment-by-moment narration delivers the child’s experiences in brief snippets of text that exult in the sensuous experiences of the surroundings. Throughout, Saito’s pastel illustrations make the most of cool and warm shades to convey the juxtaposition of water and sand and sun, while spontaneous line work depicts the exuberance of the child’s movements and the ebb and flow of the sea. Together, words and pictures combine to create a slice-of-life picture book that is more about setting than character and less a story than it is a mood piece. A quietly sublime depiction of a child at play by the sea." – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

"There is such a feeling of seaside exuberance in Masamitsu Saito's illustrations for"Beach Feet" (Enchanted Lion, 32 pages, $14.95) that as you turn the pages you can almost taste the salty spray. In delicious vivid colors, we follow a small boy as he relishes a day at the beach through the sensations of his feet: The "ow, ow, ow!" of baking sand, the "ahhh" of wet, cool sand and the splash of cold waves." -- Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal

"Konagaya’s very short text is a delight. The translation from the Japanese is successful, keeping the quiet yet excited mood of exploring a beach. It offers just enough context to share the pleasures of the ocean without getting in the way at all, making it ideal for very young listeners.

The illustrations by Saito are rich and deep. They move from playful exuberance to quieter moments. The bright yellow of the sunshine, the cool grey of wet sand, the blue of the waves. This art captures the beach perfectly. It has a wonderful fluidity to it, captured most effectively in the skin of the child that flows from oranges and pinks.

A successful look at a day at the beach that is perfect to share with toddlers, this book should come along with a shovel and pail. Appropriate for ages 2-4." -- Tasha Saecker, Waking Brain Cells

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—"I'm at the beach! Yippee!" exclaims a young boy as he races toward the water clutching his yellow tube. Readers will savor the day with him as he experiences the joys and surprises of his environment, mainly through his feet. Those feet leap into the air to escape the burning sand, relax as a cold wave makes "sandy ripples" that "tickle...toes," and discover a shell to explore. And when the boy tires of splashing in the waves and wiggling his toes in the surf, he floats on his tube and can "feel the sun on [his] feet....Toasty and warm." The brief text consists mostly of short sentences and phrases and perfectly captures the voice of a young child, alive with exuberance and joy. The pastel crayon drawings are full of movement, depicting waves erupting in white foam or washing along the shore in squiggly ripples. Focusing on the child, most often from the waist down, Saito provides unusual perspectives: two oversize feet swishing in bubbling waves, two large soles facing readers as the boy basks in the sun. This is a perfect summer read that will have youngsters yearning to grab their bathing suits and rush down to the beach to join this charming playmate.—Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT
Kirkus Reviews
In this newest installment in the Being in the World series, Japanese collaborators Konagaya and Saito offer a lovely account of a day in the life of a child at the beach. Cover art depicts pudgy toes scrunching down into the sand, and the book opens to a first-person, stream-of-consciousness text detailing the child's seaside experience. It's never clear whether this child is a boy or a girl, but this doesn't matter, as from page to page those feet from the cover art feel the heat of sun-baked sand, the coolness of the ocean waters, and the hard pressure of a seashell underfoot. Succinct, moment-by-moment narration delivers the child's experiences in brief snippets of text that exult in the sensuous experiences of the surroundings. Throughout, Saito's pastel illustrations make the most of cool and warm shades to convey the juxtaposition of water and sand and sun, while spontaneous line work depicts the exuberance of the child's movements and the ebb and flow of the sea. Together, words and pictures combine to create a slice-of-life picture book that is more about setting than character and less a story than it is a mood piece. A quietly sublime depiction of a child at play by the sea. (Picture book. 2-6)
The New York Times
From its buoyant opening spread, Beach Feet…will make anyone living 50 miles or more from a coastline want to move closer to shore…This is the second book in the "Being in the World" series…each book evokes a child's simple sensory experiences in nature. This one—a sunny, vibrant gem—is sublime.
—Pamela Paul
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592701216
  • Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Series: Being in the World Series
  • Edition description: Translatio
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 780,181
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Kiyomi Konagaya was born in 1936 in Shizuoka, Japan. At university, he studied English Literature and published his poetry in literary magazines. After graduation, he took a job at an advertising agency. In 1977, he won the prestigious Mr. H Award (for new poets) for Little Voyage 26. He also won the 21st Takami Jun Prize in 1991, and the 25th Contemporary Poetry Award in 2007.

Masamitsu Saito was born in 1958 in a seaside town along Kujyukuri Beach in Chiba, so he grew up to the sound of waves. He studied graphic design at Tama Art University. His work can be found in magazines, on chocolate packages, and the like. He also has been involved in the field of interior design and has illustrated many books.

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