See You Next Year

illus. by Todd Stewart. 32p. Owlkids. Mar. 2015. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781926973999. LC 2014945471.
PreS-Gr 3—In limited text composed of short sentences that could have been written by an early elementary-grade student, a young girl describes her weeklong summer vacation at the beach—a trip she takes with her parents every year. She begins with their drive down the same roads to the same motel where they have stayed each summer since she was small. Then comes her terse description of a typical day at the beach— the tractor that pulls a beach raker through the sand before breakfast, the seagulls that walk the beach until the people arrive, the "sea of umbrellas" and people, and the mass exodus in late afternoon. This year she has a new friend in a boy her age who teaches her how to dive under the waves near the beach. There is a band concert one evening and a bonfire and marshmallow roast at week's end. Then it is time to go home and look forward to seeing her new friend next summer. "Nothing changes," she says. "That's why I like it." Stewart's appealing stylized illustrations have a somewhat old-fashioned feel and pair well with the text. Most are two-toned in a range of blue and yellow shades: turquoise ocean; cobalt, cornflower, and indigo skies; primary yellow moonlight; ochre shadows. Facial features are not shown; close-ups are painted from the back or side. Each full-page picture illustrates the white page of text facing it.
VERDICT A good seasonal read-aloud to prompt discussion or provide inspiration for a first-person writing assignment.

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