♦ The wonders of a winter walk.
This charming outing delights in many ways. First, the entire story is told with s-words, adjectives, verbs, and nouns: scruffy, slosh, and, best of all, standstill, as the two beachgoers, an adult and a child, encounter something special. Read more closely, it's a poem with a pleasing rhythm and repetitions and a balanced, grammatical structure (explained further in an afterword). The text sits directly on full-bleed illustrations with just one or two lines to a spread, sometimes only a word. Pacing is also indicated with ellipses and page turns. "Slow steps--shuffle, straddle, saunter...sand" take the pair to the beach. Later there's a "Steady step, solid step, shaky step...stumble," and finally "Swift steps--scamper, scuttle, scurry...shower" before bedtime. Lechuga's illustrations, done in an appropriately wintry, bleached-out palette, add depth and detail. The two have pale skin and straight light and darker brown hair for child and adult respectively. They dress appropriately for a cold winter walk. The adult's A-shaped figure suggests possible pregnancy. The child carries a doll, which also wears a knitted cap. The beach they visit is full of wonders. Most astonishing are the crabs--who return, in this well-rounded tale, in a shared bedtime story. The winter landscape and changing sky are carefully depicted with added watercolor textures. One striking scene is a spread full of seabirds taking off as the girl approaches. "Super!"
Splendid for storytimes or snuggles.
-- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Charles Trevino is the program coordinator of the American Sign Language interpreter training technology program at Lone Star College in The Woodlands, Texas. He was inspired by ASL poetry when creating the structure for this, his first picture book.
Maribel Lechuga is the illustrator of Ten Beautiful Things. She has always felt an attraction to drawing and art, and she was fascinated by cartoons of the 1990s. She studied art at the prestigious Escuela de Arte 10 (Artediez) in Madrid. www.maribellechuga.com
0.5" H x 8.7" L x 11.3" W