Remembering the Seashore

Throughout the summer, my internal longing for the ocean intensifies. Lakes are fantastic, and I've spent many happy summer days river swimming, but nothing beats the majesty of the sea. Baby A has seen the ocean once at three months old, while bundled up cozy on a ferry ride to a fortress island outside Helsinki. I look forward to a day when I can show her how the tide will wash away her footprints, how the sand is burning hot at noon and cool at ten in the evening, and how you must eat your sandwich quickly because the seagulls are jealous.

Auntie Jenna recently gave Baby A The Seashore Book (1992) by Charlotte Zolotow, paintings by Wendell Minor. A mother describes to her son an imaginary day spent at the beach together. They live in the mountains, so her description is the only way for her love of the sea to be passed to him. The text is so careful and beautiful, you can sense the scene before you look at the gorgeous and realistic paintings.

What experiences have you passed on with story? What books have helped?


  1. Mountains and Ocean. Makes me think of Greece- which I'm writing a paper on. I had Greek food today, I think because I was feeling nostalgic about a place I have never visited, but have read about. I wish we were at the ocean right now.

  2. I think anything I may have passed on through books would have to be the tropical ocean - where I grew up. Coral reefs, reef fish, sharks and dolphins, coconut trees and the smell of low tide.

    Zolotow wrote some delicious books. My current favorite of hers is _When the Wind Stops_, the newer edition illustrated by Stefano Vitale. He's one of my favorite illustrators, even though he's done a lot more commercial illustration than children's books.


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