Here Comes Ocean

S. & S./Beach Lane. May 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534428836.
PreS–While his parents set up provisions for a day at the beach, a small boy delights in collecting creatures and objects washed ashore by the waves. Accompanied by a black-and-white dog that sports a red polka dot bandana, the boy discovers a sand dollar. But that is only the beginning. With each repetition of the words, “What next? Who knows? Here comes ocean!” the waves supply new treasures, which are revealed on the following page. Digitally rendered illustrations, all double-page bleeds, depict the youngster, sometimes in close-up, examining and picking up objects, or running across the sand, or even with just a single foot visible. In one striking scene, he appears across a double spread, his upper body disappearing off the page as he bends over and reaches between his legs to retrieve a sandpiper feather. A red crab provides humor as it nibbles on the boy’s feet or surveys each scene with expressive eyes. Text urges the youngster to “cool,” “hide,” “sink,” or “plant” his toes as he collects his finds, until a large wave crashes in and scatters them. This brings dad running, and the boy and his parent observe the ocean together until the child falls asleep.
VERDICT This first purchase is a perfect storytime choice to usher in the beach season, and the rhyming, repetitive text is simple enough to enable even the youngest children to chime in. A bonus: Youngsters will meet a few unusual ocean creatures, all of which are labeled on the endpapers.

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