Sunday, March 08, 2009


Every visit to a beach is awe-inspiring - the dance of the waves is mesmerising as it teases one and all to touch it. Sometimes, it allows us to think that we are more powerful than it by receding before it reaches us. But as most of us would know about a wave - it recedes only to attack us back with a bigger and a ferocious one. It is fun and every one who has visited a beach would remember for a long time.

Suzy Lee's beautiful book called Wave brings the wonderful joy and adventure of a visit to a beach to our home through her wonderful wordless picture book. A young girl happily accompanies her mother to a beach. She runs down the beach towards the waves. She initially watches it from a distance - a group of birds watch the waves along with her. She steps near to the waves and gives a big roar and frightens the waves away. She is very happy that she has driven the wave away; when the wave hits her back with a ferocious big one. But, the ferocious wave brings back with it- a big cache of riches - lots of sea-shells. The day ends with the girl waving a good-bye to the waves.

Every image in the book is two page spread. The girl and the set of birds occupy the left side of the two-page spread and waves occupy the right side. The girl and the birds are drawn in simple lines using charcoal and the waves are represented with simple blue and grey water colours.

The book reminds me about one of my favourite children's book illustrator - David Weisner and his last book - Flotsam. Both books deal with beach and incredible discoveries that children make and enjoy during a beach trip. While Flotsam was a riot of colour with its rich illustration; this book by Suzy Lee is simplicity itself. It is so simple, yet extremely attractive. Flotsam deals with imagination and dwells into fantasy lands; Wave remains and stays in reality.

Both of these books bring out our relationship with nature; its riches and the fun it can offer to everyone. See this book and if you listen hard enough while reading this book; you can hear the laughter of the young kid and the wild sound of the waves.


Praba Ram said...

oh, such a happy book and the review, an even happier one!

Have seen the book, and browsed it at a bookstore nearby. Need to check it out for my girls. thanks!

And of course, lots of my own childhood memories of going to the beach..beaches are a neat source of entertainment if you are from a city like Chennai. :-)

And with K, few years ago, I remember playing a game called Papa wave, Mama wave and baby wave - to guess if a particular wave would be a big, medium or tiny one. :-)

Nagesh.MVS said...

Really WAVE>>>

Work From Home

Anonymous said...

Thanks for dropping by our site.I have to agree with your comparison between Lee and Wiesner's books. I love how these wordless books, whether rich and detailed or simple are able to communicate so much to its reader.

GatheringBooks said...

Hello, I loved how you described your own experience with waves from the beach. Right now I have to emulate the sound of crashing waves through an .mp3 version that a friend shared with me (talk about sad, huh?) - it lulls me to sleep.

I believe that what strikes a core in me with Suzy Lee's works is her capacity to transform something mundane to something quite surreal as was evident in her use of the book gutter to signify the tenuous division between what is real and what isn't. How nice, huh? Hopefully, you get to check out her other works.

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