Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Seashells by the seashore

Seashells by the seashore

Marianne Berkes
Illustrator:  Robert Noreika 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 8
Dawn Publications, 2002   ISBN: 978-1584690344

Sue, her brother Ben, and their friend Evan are down on the beach. They are collecting sea shells, trying to find as many different kinds as they can. Sue begins with a little Perwinkle which she puts into her pink bucket. Further down the beach, in amongst the sand dunes, she finds an Olive Shell. A fan shaped scallop shell is her fifth find. Ben and Sue are collecting the shells to give to their grandmother for her birthday and Evan helps out by adding "a heavy Ark Shell" to the collection in the pink bucket.

As the sun is setting the children clean the shells that they found and head home to Grandma's house. All in all they have twelve shells of all different shapes and sizes to give her. Their thirteenth find had to be put back into the sea because it still had someone living in it!

This carefully presented picture book will give children an excellent introduction to some of the commonly found shells that they are likely to find as they walk along the beach. Soft watercolor illustrations and a gentle rhyming text captures the gentle atmosphere of Sue's exploration along the shore.

At the back of the book the author has included an interesting description of shells and the creatures that live in them. There is also a guide to the shells that appear in the book, and a laminated tear-out shell identification card which readers can take with them to the beach.