Stella and her little brother are spending the day at the beach. Stella has been to the seashore before and knows all its secrets, but Sam still has a lot of questions. Does a moonsnail come from the moon? What can you buy with a sand dollar? Stella has answers for them all. The only thing she's not sure about is whether Sam will ever come into the water. Through exquisite watercolors, this book brings to life a perfect summer day and the sweet and funny relationship between an older sister and her baby brother.
"This nonchalant slice-of-life tale with its sunny, eccentric illustrations makes for an enjoyable trip to the seashore." -- Publisher's Weekly
Gay humorously contrasts the children's impressions of the sea in pictures and dialogue that capture Sam's experience of its frightening enormity, as well as Stella's joy in its secret treasures. To fend off the prospect of a swim, Sam keeps asking Stella anxious questions like "Does a sea horse gallop?" Stella's replies are as authoritative as they are imaginative: "'Yes!' cried Stella. 'And you can ride a sea horse bareback.'" Gay's whimsical watercolors show Stella swimming alongside tropical fish and holding onto the back of a child-sized pink sea horse, while Sam hangs behind, a tiny speck in a water ring on the distant shore. Ultimately, of course, Stella's irrepressible enthusiasm wins over Sam's sober hesitancy, and in the final image of this charming picture book the two of them float happily in a luminous blue green sea. -- Lisa Alward