Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Lee, Suzy. 2008. WAVE. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 9780811859240 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK-4]

With the use of simple black lines, grays hues, and ocean blue color, this wordless picture book shows a young girl at the beach and follows her discovery of what waves bring to the beach. She leaves the beach with her mother at the close of the story, happily waving good-bye to the waves. The story evolves naturally to show the power of nature with the strong, yet simple art.

Author and illustrator Suzy Lee evokes the fun and joy of a day at the beach in this picture book. The 7 1/4 X 12 inch trim contributes to the feel of the incoming waves. In three colors and spare lines, the illustrator creates the feel of waves coming toward the beach and the delight of the young child. The spare strokes create images seemingly influenced by Lee’s Korean descent.

The endpapers show the swirl of foamy gray water churning on the sand to hide the natural treasures in the ocean and conclude with shells washed up on the beach, alluding to the treasures the child finds after a wave splashes over her head.

Early childhood units on beaches, sand, or seashore habitats and creatures might follow the discussion of this book. Used as an introduction, the book could be used in early writing lessons or in a study of shells and the animals that live within.

Other books for children in a wordless format:
Lehman, Barbara. THE RED BOOK. ISBN 0618428585
Wiesner, David. FLOTSAM. ISBN 0618194576

By Shirley Smith Duke

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