Beach Feet by Kiyomi Konagaya, illustrated by Masamitsu Saito
Released June 12, 2012.
This picture book is a trip to the beach along with a very exuberant little boy. There are salty breezes, hot sand, cool water, and plenty of sun. The little boy races to get to the water, surprised by the heat captured in the hot sand. That quickly turns to relief upon reaching the cool, wet sand. Then the waves come in, cold and big, tickling around toes as the water recedes again. It leaves behind a revealed shell, something for the boy’s toes to find. Then there are more waves, floating in the ocean, and even more sun.
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.
Reviewed from copy received from Enchanted Lion Books.