To the Beach

To the Beach by Thomas Docherty

The great spirit of this book captures the fresh feeling of a boy making his own world out of a rainy day.  Some might think that a rainy day would not let you go to the beach, but that doesn’t slow him down at all.  In fact, the day is even more fun-filled than it may have been without the rain.  He has his swimsuit, goggles, snorkel, bucket, shovel, flippers, and inner tube.  So he takes an airplane, sailboat, truck and camel to reach the sand and the sea.  He plays at the beach and then heads back home.  Taking a tanker, helicopter, bike and tractor.  His next trip?  Perhaps something out of this world?

Each illustrations captures the exuberance of this child’s imagination.  Every new discovery is a joy, each mode of transportation an adventure.  It is impossible to read this book without a grin and chuckle.  The book will work well with small children, because of the ratio of illustration to words.  Sometimes a page has just a few words on it.  And children who enjoy trucks, tractors and other big kinds of transport will find a lot to love here.

A great start to a day of imagination or the end of one, this book is just right for playful 2-4 year olds.

Reviewed from library copy.

Let’s Do Nothing!

Let’s Do Nothing! by Tony Fucile

Frankie and Sal have done it all: played every sport, painted pictures, baked cookies, played board games, and read every comic book.  So they decide to do something they have never done before!  Nothing!  They try again and again to do nothing at all, but it doesn’t work.  When they pretend to be statues, Sal has to swat away the pigeons.  When they think of themselves as trees, Sal imagines that Frankie’s dog pees on him.  When they are tall buildings, Sal is scaled by King Kong.  In the end, they decide that they have to start doing something after all because it is impossible to do nothing.

The common problem of boredom is paired here with a sense of humor.  The two boys imagine themselves as different things, but Sal always has his glasses even as a tree or building.  The King Kong sequence is especially funny as sharp-eyed readers will spot the hand of Kong even as Sal reassures Frankie that he is doing great.  The relationship between the two boys is also very well done.  The boys are different as can be but their friendship is never in jeopardy in the book.   It is a great and subtly delivered message behind the action.

A rousing read aloud for any bored child, this book will refresh long summer days filled with free time.  Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from library copy.

Also reviewed by Lori Calabrese Writes.