I thought I’d get in at least one summer review while it’s still August.

Beach (2006) is a quiet book, and I liked that for summer. A lot happens in this story, but it’s all part of an expansive day at the beach (both in the story and in the gorgeous double-page illustrations), and the whole feeling is relaxed. The beach is empty when the story begins, and as the day goes on it fills up, we meet all the different kinds of people at the beach (flying kites, building sand castles), and we wind down for the day to head home.

Cooper’s watercolors are just gorgeous. He conveys perfectly the personalities of all the different people with minimal details. And he’s clearly a beach lover, the entire book is filled with an obvious affection for all the little things observed at the beach that is winning. It’s a great summer read for kids, really whimsical. And a great way to remember a beach trip with kids or to use at the beach to see how many different types of people/activities from the story can be spotted in real life. I enjoyed it.