Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Beachy and Me by Bob Staake

The reviews for Staake's latest book were mostly meh, but here is where I think sometimes "professional" reviews miss the boat. Is it a lasting work of award-winning art? Nope. Will parents and kids check it out? Absolutely! It's fun, cheerfully illustrated, and while it's not great literature it's definitely an improvement on the gazillion tv tie-ins I spent two hours last week buying (Barbie. Ugh.).

The endpapers are decorated with a delightful faux-pirate's map which shows the two main characters - Beachy the whale and Pixie the girl - in the corner. Pixie is all alone on her tiny island when Beachy shows up. Washes up, to be precise. Once the beached whale has been restored to his home, he and Pixie have a delightful time playing in and exploring the ocean. It's a sad parting when Beachy has to migrate, but it's not long before he returns and their friendship resumes.

Staake's unmistakable illustrations shine with life and color and although the rhyming text is rather bland, this is a fun book for storytime or beach reading.

Verdict: Staake fans, of whom there are many, will be satisfied with this colorful and silly tale. Not a top choice perhaps, especially if your budget is tight, but a definite additional choice.

ISBN: 9780385373142; Published 2016 by Random House; F&G provided by publisher

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