Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Out of the Blue - Alison Jay

Summary:  A sea story in pictures.  A boy and his dog, a lighthouse and a beach, a storm at sea and an extraordinary creature left behind by the waves… Alison Jay’s pictures weave a dramatic story for you to tell in your own words. (Summary from book - Image from

My Review:  There are some books with illustrations so captivating, they don’t need words; Out of the Blue is one of those books.  Each page tells an exciting story through whimsical coastal and seascapes that jump start the imagination.  I found this book on our local library’s “for sale” shelf and for the life of me I can’t figure out why it was there.  It's beyond cute!

If you need the basic gist, this is it:  A little boy and his dog live in lighthouse.  One day he and a young girl decide to go beach combing.  They and their fellow beach goers are enjoying their day at the beach until a storm comes up and everyone is forced inside.  The next morning something startling has washed up on shore, and soon the entire beach community shows up to help. 

That’s the short of it, but really this book has so much more going on.  Take the time to look, and you’ll discover that even the background characters and animals have their own amusing stories.  One of my favorite illustrations happens towards the end of the book, where you get a glimpse of what’s going on beneath the sand and waves.  I’m not going to spoil it for you, but it’s simply delightful.  Besides that, here are a few of the other illustrations that I liked: 

I was excited to see my littlest daughter’s reaction to this book and so I handed it to her as we buckled in for the ride home from preschool.  I told her it was a picture book and that I needed her to tell me what was happening and what the people were doing in the story.  It’s about a twenty-minute drive home and she jabbered away the whole time, telling me what each person was up to and giggling here and there.  When we got home, I sat down and ‘read’ it to her.  She was enthralled.  I’d recommend this book to anyone, but especially the younger crowd.  It widens the mind and tickles the imagination.

NOTE: The book does have an end note (with words, of course) that touches on the subjects of coastal biomes, tides, rock pools, and includes interesting facts about some of the creatures featured in the book.  After pages of pictures, it was something that old beginning reader wasn’t too keen on reading until I started in on some of the wacky facts – then she engaged.

My Rating: 5 Stars

For the sensitive reader:  No worries.

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