Children's LiteratureMany books take us to the seashore with visually enriched, informative words, but St. Pierre's succinct text with only a few lines per double page, poetically and magically evokes the mood of the scene, telling us not only what the sea saw above, but what the sky saw below. A gull shoots from the sky; it sees the fish, "scales shimmering silver." We go "down in the deep..." The sea crashes against the rocks. On the beach and the shore are other creatures. Finally the moon rises, then the sun: "Sky above. Sea below." Doyle exploits the smooth translucencies of airbrush to emphasize the spirituality of the interconnectedness of the sea's ecosystem. The illustrations are naturalistic but designed to project the strong emotional and esthetic qualities of the forms, as a gull's smooth wide-spread wings challenge the rough whitecaps of the ocean below, or close-up, a trio of sandpipers strut by before a background of wind-sculpted sand dunes and a cloud-streaked sky. Front and back endpapers frame the treat to come. Following the text is a factual summary of ecological information on the water, shore, and dunes, and a useful bibliography. 2006, Peachtree Publishers, Ages 4 to 8.
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz