Kerri Day is a former primary school teacher who enjoys writing stories which encourage younger readers to discover the natural world, explore language, sounds, and creative thinking. This is her second book. Her first children’s book Beside the Sea, was awarded the 2023 CBCA Notable Book, Early Childhood.
Melbourne based illustrator, author and teacher, Nicky Johnston, also has a Notable CBCA 2023 award for Jørn’s Magnificent Imagination and a 2022 Honour Book CBCA Early Childhood for Amira’s Suitcase. Together they have created this fun book aimed at children just starting to build vocabulary and develop familiarity with reading.
Two dads, three children, and three lively dogs head to the beach. They have a trolley laden with deck chairs, umbrella, bucket, spade, kite, esky, and towels. The action is set by the title, followed by the running paws and footprints on the end pages, and then the sheer joy of dogs and children let loose to run, dive, swim, roll, giggle, splash, chase, and hide across the pages of the book, until the clouds set in and it’s time for tired children and puppies to go home.
The minimal text is in rhyme, with short simple words on each page aimed at early readers. Lick, snack, share. Sticky, messy, hair. The wonderful watercolour illustrations add vibrancy of the story, from the warm sandy colours to the playful details of children and dogs, all shown engaged in fun activities and games. A special joy is discovering the beautifully captured essence of the dogs at play.
There is the possibility of discussion about the many different types of families sparked by the subtle portrayal here of a family with two dads.
A book that will appeal to younger readers ages two to six.