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“All You Need For a Beach” by Alice Schertle, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee – review by Donna Talmage

“All You Need For a Beach” is a collaboration by Alice Schertle and Barbara Lavallee, the same duo that created the well known “All You Need For a Snowman.” This is a picture book for very young readers and has a very simple text and appealing, luminous watercolor illustrations. The action is mostly based around beach related activities listed one by one until the whole experience blossoms into a cumulative celebration of a perfect day at the beach.

First there is a depiction of sand and sand related activities enjoyed by many children crowding each page. The book is action packed with buckets, shovels, a big blue ball, and a picnic lunch. Sand castles, gulls, pelicans and fish appear in various scenes. The action morphs from sand related fun to playing in the water, then moves back onto a beach on which the children have built a colossal sand castle. The juxtaposition of a large blue beach ball and a matching blue ocean blends sea, sky and sand together in a delightful panorama of fun at the beach.

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