by James Dean (Author) James Dean (Illustrator)
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PreS-Gr 2 In the first early level reader, Pete tries to have fun building sand castles, eating sandwiches, and searching for shells, but the hot sun makes him sizzle while his brother is out there riding his surfboard, staying nice and cool. Finally, the heat gets to Pete and he decides to try the water. He faces his fear of the big waves and, after a few attempts, is surfing just like Bob. Strong artwork, summer hues, and familiar characters make this a great addition to collections. In Whale of a Tale, Splat the Cat goes to the beach for vacation and promises to find the perfect seashell to bring home to his grandpa. As he begins his search, he is pulled in all directions, helping his dad set up the beach umbrella, spelling names in the sand for his sister, and, of course, stopping for fish and ice cream. Finally, he gets his chance to search for shells but he just can't seem to find the right one until he stumbles into the water and lands on a friendly whale who helps him with his mission. The artwork and perspective are well designed, and whimsical drawings assist new readers with context clues and even inspire a few giggles. Two solid choices for emergent readers.--Melissa Smith, Royal Oak Public Library, MICopyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.