I’m looking for a book about… the seaside

posted in: Clara Vulliamy | 17

Welcome to “I’m looking for a book about….”, the topic-themed monthly carnival of children’s literature.

Every month I’ll be encouraging anyone who likes to review books for children (of any age) to leave links to their reviews of books that match the given month’s theme. The idea is that over time, this carnival will become a resource for parents, teachers, carers, librarians looking for books by subject.

Old reviews, new reviews, and reviews for any age are welcome. You may also submit multiple reviews, as long as they are all relevant to this month’s theme.

This month’s theme is…

**The Seaside**

Our own trip to the seaside last week

Below you’ll find links to reviews of books for all ages of kids with a seaside / ocean / beach theme. If you are looking for watery themed activities to go with the books below a great starting point is this round up of water crafts from Maggy at Red Ted Art. For even more ideas, Artists Helping Children has a great round up of specifically beach related crafts.

  • Se7en gets the ball rolling this carnival with a wonderful sounding nonfiction book, Seaside Scientist, by the brilliant team Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom. Manning and Granstrom always manage to create children’s nonfiction which is engaging to read and beautiful to look at so I’ll definitely be on the look out for a copy of this book.

  • Jennifer at Jean Little Library has a review of a “perfect summer beach read, sunny and a little lazy” about a pre-teen who’s parents are going through a divorce. Jennifer says Lexie by Audrey Couloumbis, illustrated by Julia Denos is very funny, and features a hermit crab!

  • Ali at Fantastic Reads has two books for 8-11 year olds which vividly describe the beautiful Cornish coastline – beaches, bays, smugglers, and mysteries to boot: Dead Man’s Cove by Lauren St John and Venus Rocks by Fiona Dunbar.

  • M and Little M at We Sat Down have the perfect follow up to Ali’s post with a review of another Lauren St John book, Dolphin Song. Rather than the craggy coast of Cornwall, this book is set on the sunny beaches in South Africa.

  • Polly at The Little Wooden Horse: Adventures on my kids’ bookshelf has several lovely reviews for us. First up is Swimmy by Leo Leonni, a classic all about “straightforward hymn to the power of collective action and great Union leadership”, a wonderful book indeed! Second is A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton which is so good Polly suggests we do whatever it takes to get our hands on a copy. I’m certainly reserving one at our library having read Polly’s review! (For a different review of the same book, do check out what Library Mice has to say about A Boy and a Bear in a Boat). Last up is the gorgeous Hooray for Fish by Lucy Cousins – one of my favourite fishy books for youngsters, but you should go and read Polly’s post because it’s marvellous.

  • Over at Did you ever stop to think & forget to start again? there are reviews of The Whitby Witches’ series of three books. Whitby is a quintessential British seaside town and in these books “is described so stunningly and in detail, you can’t help but get sucked in.”

  • There’s a whole host of seaside-y books reviewed by Library Mice! First up are two gorgeous books by the brilliant Mini Grey – Three by the Sea, and Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey (you can read my review of the same book here). Next Library Mice “cannot recommend Claude on Holiday enough. Alex T. Smith manages to team up a quirky illustration style with an equally original and witty text”. Then Library Mice has something for the youngest of beach goers – Noodle Loves the Beach by French illustrator Marion Billet and rounds ups things with a review of The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han, for young teens.

  • I’m delighted that some of my blog readers who don’t have blogs themselves have also recommended seaside themed books. Natalja recommends How Will We Get to the Beach? by Brigitta Luciani, illustrated by Eve Tharlet, whilst Sophie reminds me that no seaside list of books is complete without Wave by Suzy Lee

  • Three middle grade books about summers at the coast are recommended on Jen Robinson’s Book Page: Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord, The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall and A Million Miles from Boston by Karen Day. All these books have US seaside settings – a great foil to the UK beachside books above.

  • Over at Perogies and Gyoza Jen has a review of a book published in the last couple of weeks – The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Mermaids by Ammi-Joan Paquette, illustrated by Marie LeTourneau. Although nominally a fiction book this is as packed with information as any a nonfiction book about what you might find at the seaside.

  • Helen at CAppTivated Kids:Exploring iPad apps for young children has a round up of seaside-related book apps including The Little Mermaid by Auryn Apps, Bartleby’s Book of Buttons Vol II : The Button at the Bottom of the Sea by Monster Costume Inc, Over in the Ocean in a Coral Reef by Dawn Publications, Peekaboo Ocean by Touch & Learn, F:sh by Brandwidth and Hush Little Beachcomber. I don’t own an iPad, but if you do, don’t miss Helen’s post!

  • For Kendra, Elisha Cooper’s Beach really captures the essence of being there. She writes “Rather than telling ho drum story, Cooper let’s us drum up our own. His characters are so minimal as if they were sketched, right there on scene. And maybe that is what makes them so alive. They are so expressive and I absolutely love them. I want to be them, sitting on that beach”.

  • Library Mice Melanie is back with another helping – Arthur’s Dream Boat by Polly Dunbar. “A truly Daliesque story”, it is “a beautiful picture book which celebrates the power of dreaming and the imagination”.

  • I’m so glad Mrs Brown’s Books has shared her review of To the Beach by Thomas Docherty. It’s a story full of “wild imaginary rides by air, sea and land to finally reach a wondrous beach with a camel as a playmate”!

  • Over at Jama’s Alphabet Soup there is a glowing review of At the Boardwalk by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman and Mónica Armiño.”At the Boardwalk describes one glorious day of relaxing, joyous, totally delicious seaside fun from the promise of dawn’s first light to evening’s starlit dance. Each page turn reveals a new delight to celebrate and savor, thanks to Kelly’s beautifully spare and evocative rhyming quatrains and Mónica’s luscious color-saturated illustrations.”

  • Good Books for Young Souls has not 1 but 7 seaside books for us to browse including 2 I think are especially wonderful – Flotsam by David Wiesner (you can read my review here), and Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.

  • And do come back tomorrow when you’ll be able to get your hands on the 2nd part of the story-inspiration-series that author/illustrator Clara Vulliamy and I are creating together – two more mini books for you and the kids in your life to print off and get creative with.

    Looking forward to reading all your seaside book reviews! Add away with the linky below or by leaving a comment 🙂

    17 Responses

    1. ally

      Hello Zoe

      We just adore Alison Lester’s “Magic Beach”…its one of our all time favourites.
      Pamela Allen’s “Grandpa and Thomas” also captures the feel of the beach beautifully

      ally recently posted..~ snap-it… alphabet ~

    2. Good Books For Young Souls

      I’ll have to watch for your next round up – didn’t realize you were doing this. Thanks for inviting me to join in your seaside search – I posted seven books (for all different ages). I’m so glad Polly reviewed SWIMMY – can’t believe I forgot about him. 🙂
      Good Books For Young Souls recently posted..Take a Trip to the Beach in a Book!

    3. James Mayhew

      Oooh Lovely theme! Isn’t there a book called Sally and the Limpet?… Oh and there are a few about Mary Anning who discovered the first Lyme Regis dinosaurs. There’s a Shirley Hughes picture book poem (can’t remember which one!) that ends “A day by the sea is the best kind of day” We say that every time we go to the seaside!

      Also… Quentin Blake’s Mrs Armitage & the Big Wave. More generally, the Moomins enjoy their beaches. And I loved the picnic on camber sands in Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Of course the Pott family WERE cut off by the incoming tide. But with a car like theirs, it could only lead to adventure!
      James Mayhew recently posted..Why Music Matters

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