Top Ten Tuesday: Best Beach Books

September 29, 2009

I cannot get enough of the beach. If we had it my way, we would be living on the beach at this very moment. But alas, things don't always go my way... Juliet is a big fan too, so we are always on the lookout for a good beach book. It helps us get our beach fix even if we are miles from the sea.

Here are my top ten favorites: (I've mentioned a few of these before, but for some, this is the first time I've reviewed them.)

This book is absolutely beautiful. It's a counting book, but not in the typical counting book way. The illustrations are so gorgeous and the words so mesmerizing, I always forget that it's a counting book even as we are reading it.
2. Beach Day by Karen Roosa

We checked this one out a week before going to the beach with my parents for the first time. Juliet was completely enthralled by the family's beach day activities. The illustrations are really detailed and fun--it was a great read for getting into the beach mindset.
3. Wave by Suzy Lee

"No Words. Just Right." While there are no words to this book, it is one of the best you will read. The illustrations are just amazing--Suzy Lee is a brilliant artist. The story of a little girl playing in the waves is utterly captivating.
4. The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson

We checked this out last week and it was a huge hit with Juliet. She loved watching the snail ride around on the whale's tail as they traveled together around the world. There is a page that shows the snail and whale at night in the middle of the ocean--a crescent moon is glowing in the sky. Just last night, Juliet pointed out her window at the moon and said, "Look! It's the moon from The Snail and the Whale!"
5. Hondo and Fabian by Peter McCarty

This one doesn't take place at the beach the entire time, but Hondo does take a trip to the beach with his friend Fred at one point during the book. It's one of my very favorites, so I had to mention it again.

6. A Day at the Beach by Mircea Vasiliu

Published in 1977, this is a favorite goodwill find for me. I found it when Juliet was around 15 months old and it was a big hit both back then and still today. When she was younger, I would just point to the pictures and make up my own story, but now that she can sit still and listen to a story, we read the text. There are so many details and the pictures are bright and fun. We love reading this one over and over again. Juliet's favorite part is when the kids use seaweed to make it look like they have long hair and beards. She points and laughs every time.

7. Bats at the Beach by Brian Lies

This is not your typical beach book because instead of taking place during the day, it takes place at night: the perfect time for bats to go to the beach! They pack up their buckets, blankets, moon-tan lotion, of course. They frolic and play just like day-time beach-goers, but when it comes time for snacks, instead of marshmallows, they roast bug-mallows on sticks over the campfire. It's a really fun book--we enjoyed it this week.

8. Beach Day by Fran Manushkin, Illustrated by Kathy Wilburn

This is another thrifty find of mine recently--it was on our library book cart for 25 cents. Although it was published in 1988, I have no memory of reading it as a child. But since it was a beach book, I had to have it. I'm really glad I bought it because it is a beautiful book. It's the story of a little girl and her parents are their day trip to the beach. I like how it details the typical beach day activities, but especially for the way it celebrates the family's love for each other. It's a great bedtime book.

9. Life in the Sea by Eileen Curran, Illustrated by Joel Snyder

This is another one that we have had in our home library for a long time. It's more of an informational book--as it details the various plants and animals that live in or by the sea. It starts out like this, "The ocean is a big place. Whose home could it be? Let's go down to the water. Let's go down to the sea." What follows is information about an octopus, some sharks, clams, seagulls, etc... It asks a lot of questions and invites the reader to participate, so it's fun for kids. Juliet always loves reading this one and she has taken to saying, "Let's go down to the water, Let's go down to the sea." whenever she wants to pretend we are at the ocean.

10. Curious George Goes to the Beach by Margaret and H.A. Rey
We love Curious George. Silly George gets into trouble as usual, but works things out in the end. We recently checked this one out from the library and got a lot of use out of it.

And just because I can't stop at ten, here's a few more great beach titles, if you are interested:
I'm linking up with Amanda at! Check out her site for more great top ten lists!


Blondie said...

I'll have to check out some of these books. My boys may particularly like the one about bats...

Lady of Letters said...

Okay, now I totally want to go to the beach!

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