Each new picture book I read seems to become my new best friend. On Our Way to the Beach, by Sofie Laguna and Andrew McLean, is my current favourite. It was published by Omnibus (Scholastic) in 2004.
There’s a lovely dream-like quality to this story. Partly, that’s because the unnamed young girl narrator lets us share her dreams, which are influenced by that day’s journey and activities. McLean’s wonderful pen, ink and watercolour drawings contribute too, with soft, detailed pictures to draw a young reader in.
Humour is a gentle undercurrent behind the journalling of a trip to the beach for a family holiday. At the strawberry farm, we read that “I get five strawberries into my bucket and lots in my tummy”, while baby brother, Mishka, “gets no strawberries into his bucket and lots of strawberries on his cheeks.” We also read of a “very quiet game called chess” which involves lots of staring but not much moving!
On Our Way to the Beach is another picture book that will do double duty as an easy reader. Sentence structure is not complicated and vocabulary is mostly simple. It would make an excellent model for a child who wants to write about a holiday or trip of his own. Watch out for Bird and Sugar Boy also by this talented author.