Sunday, July 27, 2008

Coming Home on the Bus and Beachcombing: Exploring the Seashore

Well, on Saturday and Sunday, the bus took all of us to Harvard, to catch our "Duck" tour, to explore Quincy Market/Faneuil Hall, Buckman Tavern, Bunker Hill, Plimouth Plantation, and Mayflower II tour. And Sunday night, the bus is taking us all the way back home to Ohio. That's right -- we'll be sleeping on the bus! We arrive back in Dublin, bright and early Monday morning (and then I'm going home for some real sleep!).

The last picture book I wanted to share is one I picked up the last time I was at Cover to Cover Children's bookstore. Beachcombing: exploring the seashore is by Jim Aronsky, who wrote another one of my favorites, The Brook Book.

In fact, Beachcombing is set up in a very similar fashion to The Brook Book (see my review here). Aronsky starts off by letting the reader know what he/she will need to wear to be a "complete beachcomber". After that, each 2-page spread is dedicated to great details about different things you might find at the beach: seashells, crabs, horseshoe crabs, jellyfish, coral beaches, coconuts, beach birds, "special finds", and shark teeth.

Each section has 2 kid favorite nonfiction text features: diagrams and labeling. Lots of good information, but no overkill. I was especially fascinated (as well as repelled) by the jellyfish.

Aronsky has a "homesy" voice -- he doesn't talk over the reader's head, and he doesn't make it too simple. It feels like a natural conversation between him and the reader. His voice really drew me further into a topic I already enjoyed. What a great mentor text to discuss voice in nonfiction with your students!

I love the beach and the ocean, so when I saw this book, I knew I had to have it. The fact that I loved The Brook Book so much was a double bonus! Beachcombing was published in 2004, so it's been around for a while, but it's definitely worth a look (and maybe even a purchase!)


  1. Thanks for the suggestion! Looks like I'll have to get my hands on this.

  2. We had Jim Arnosky come to our school last year and he is just a delightful writer in person. Very entertaining and appropriate for all age levels.