Lee's (The Zoo) wordless two-color picture book will charm even readers who have never seen the postwar classics her work explicitly recalls. In it, a mostly solitary girl, conjured with a few broad charcoal strokes, encounters the ocean, all watery splashes and splatters of blue. Lee's spreads of the beach are drawn and painted in black, white and gray on matte pages; the waves are sloshed on with aqua. Dueling textures--dry charcoal, wet paint strokes--mirror the silent conversation between the girl and the waves. The girl, hanging back at first, grows bolder, taunts an enormous wave, disappears under a burst of salt water, emerges drenched, and discovers the gifts the wave leaves behind. Her stick-straight hair beguiles; her expressions morph from suspicion to resolve to joy. The ocean is alive, too, with its own range of feelings; tranquil ripples, flamenco-like explosions of spray, spatters of foam. The book's oblong shape gives Lee a dramatic expanse of beach to work with, almost like a stage; five seagulls form a Greek chorus, advancing and retreating together with the girl. A book whose rewards multiply with rereading. All ages. (June)[Page 62]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
K-Gr 3-- Lee's wordless picture book perfectly captures a child's day at the beach. Followed by a flock of seagulls, a girl runs delightedly to where waves break on the shore. She surveys the sea and together they begin a silent dance. She chases it as it recedes, runs from it as it surges, splashes in it when it calms, taunts it as it rises, and finally succumbs to it crashing down upon her and discovers what treasures the waves can bring. A panoramic trim size beautifully supports the expansiveness of the beach, and Lee uses the gutter to effectively represent the end of the shoreline--until the girl crosses that line. Loosely rendered charcoal and acrylic images curl and flow like water and reflect playfulness, especially in the facial and bodily expressions of the child and seagulls. The use of blue in an otherwise gray-toned world calls attention to the ocean, which rivals the girl as a main character in this story. Wave is best shared in small groups for the younger set, but also suited for solitary enjoyment by older children. A simple, well-crafted story of friendship.--Kim T. Ha, Elkridge Branch Library, MD[Page 102]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.