Even land-locked youngsters will be able to take in the smell of the sea after reading this striking, informative, and evocative picture book. A mother and daughter are walking the beach, looking for treasures. The little girl hopes to find tangible objects: shells, sharks' eggs, sea glass, pelican feathers, a wooden shoe, a message-filled bottle. Her mother, in contrast, has bigger ideas: the sun, the wash of waves on the beach, sea turtle tracks. The daughter points out that these things are too big to carry home — and besides, they are always there. True, admits Mom, but she goes on to explain that "the bigger the thing, the easier it is to forget to see it."
Frasier, creator of the popular picture book On the Day You Were Born, spent years combing the beach near her Florida home to gather the objects that make up the illustrations of this unique homage to the ocean. Set against full-page, close-up images of the sand itself, her collages mix cut-paper shapes with photocopied photographs and real flotsam picked up during her walks. As counterpoint to the spiritual mood of the story, an "Ocean Journal" at the end of the book provides images of many of the found treasures, together with fascinating background information. Here Frasier chronicles the life cycle of the sea turtle, explains how notes in a bottle are transported by ocean currents, and reveals which of the many finds are rare. Her book itself is a rare find. Brimming with material for lessons, field trips, and discussion, it deserves an equal place in the classroom or home.