Out of the Blue
Out of the Blue
Alison Jay
ISBN 9781782850427
Barefoot Books, 2014.
5 stars
Keywords: alison-jay beach friendship lighthouse ocean out-blue summer

Out of the Blue
by Alison Jay

Alison Jay (Picture This; 1 2 3: A Child's First Counting Book) invites readers to join her boy hero at the shore, making friends and rescuing a beached octopus.

Some key clues to this wordless escapade appear on the cover: a boy and girl intent on capturing a small orange octopus in a blue bucket stand on the edge of a tidepool near a candy-stripe lighthouse on a windy day. Next comes a panoramic view of the ocean with the lighthouse, seagulls circling and a whale exhaling. In side-by-side views, children see the lighthouse from the outside, where a boy in striped pajamas looks through the window with his spotted dog, then the perspective switches to the view the boy sees from inside. The artist gives youngsters much to take in on the busy shore: a scuba diver, a woman in pink walking her poodle, the boy's spotted dog cavorting with a Dachshund, a girl in a sailor dress carrying a net. Four vertical panels chronicle the boy and girl joining up to search for seashells, as the waves grow rougher and clouds move in. Everyone takes cover, and Jay depicts the boy and his father, snug inside the lighthouse.

The next day, the boy and girl join forces to free a beached giant orange octopus, tangled in a fishing net. The details about each person and animal on the shore give youngsters an abundance of subplots to follow upon repeated readings. Jay's subtle message--that with nature's bounty one need never be bored--permeates every page.

This review first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers.
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