Sea of Dreams by Dennis Nolan
This wordless book begins with a normal scene of a girl building a sand castle on a beach. When the sun sets, she reluctantly leaves the castle with its turrets behind. As the tide comes in and the waves batter the ramparts, a light turns on in one of the sandcastle windows. Then faces appear as the waves surge again. A boat heads out to sea, rescuing the stranded people. It heads into the waves and one of the small people is lost in the sea, tempting large fish to eat him. Happily, the boy is discovered underwater by some mermaids who rescue him and return him to the boat. They make it safely to a beach where there’s a cave. The scene changes to the girl returning to the beach to build a second castle. Once again, she leaves it behind on the beach at sunset, the waves roll in, and a light turns on.
Nolan has created a captivating story line here that blends real life and magic together seamlessly. When one starts the book, there is no sense that it will suddenly change into something utterly different. Part of this is the success of the realistic paintings that illustrate the book. It seems grounded in reality until that amazing light turns on.
A wondrous book that entrances and delights, this is a great read to share on a trip to the beach or in any quiet time where there is room to dream. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from library copy.