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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Beach House, written by Deanna Caswell and illustrated by Amy June Bates. Chronicle Books, Raincoast. 2015. $18.99 ages 3 and up

"Goggles, swimmies,
masks and fins.
Buckets, shovels.
Fun begins!

Breathe salt air.
Squint at the sun.
Hot-foot hopping.
Squeal and run."

I am not a lake person. That is to say I did not spend the summers of my youth at the lake. If we were visiting with family in Saskatchewan, we went to Katepwa Lake for the day. I loved it; I did not want to be there every day unless it meant that we could forgo chores. I have friends and relatives who live for summers and their annual treks to the same vacation home. Some have chosen to build houses in close proximity. This book is for them.

It is full to the brim with a detailed feel for the strong memories evoked by family vacations spent at one very special destination. From getting everything packed and ready, to the drive, to the arrival and adventure of discovery at every turn, the author is able to make the reader feel the wonder of the sun and sand, the beauty of the calm relaxation such a setting affords, the joy and delight in small discoveries and the immeasurable expanse of the night sky.

The beauty of each word and memory is captured brilliantly by Amy June Bates. She makes me want to share in the delight felt by so many others. If you remember brilliant summer days spent at the beach, this book  is perfect for you.

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