________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number . . . .June 19, 2015


In the Waves.

Lennon & Maisy Stella. Illustrated by Steve Björkman.
New York, NY: Harper (Distributed in Canada by HarperCollins Canada), 2015.
32 pp., hardcover, $21.99.
ISBN 978-0-06-235939-4.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Jane Whittingham.

**½ /4


I got my ol’ flip-flops
And my hat on top
A coat of sunblock
That I almost forgot Headed for the blue seashore
Got my boogie-oogie boogie board


Ontario-born sisters Lennon and Maisy Stella, stars of the television series Nashville, have turned their debut original song In the Waves into a picture book. Into the Waves tells the story of two sisters as they prepare for a fun day at the beach, gathering all the items they will need for their trip, and imagining all the fun activities they will take part in. In an amusing twist ending, the final pages of the book reveal that the sisters aren’t actually heading to the beach at all, but they are, in fact using their imaginations to turn their bathtub into a seaside experience.

     Steve Björkman’s illustrations are colorful and vibrant, bringing to life the excitement of a trip to the beach, and a two-page spread featuring a friendly whale and a variety of colourful fish is a particular standout. However, the text is less effective as a picture book than it might have been in its original musical format. Without previous knowledge of the song’s melody, the text’s rhythm can come across as confusing and, at times, clunky which can make for a bit of an awkward read-aloud experience. More musically-inclined readers familiar with the original tune might be better able to make Into the Waves work as a read-aloud or sing-aloud. The picture book does not include a CD, but readers can listen to the song for free at the publisher’s website.

     With its fun illustrations and endearing twist ending, In the Waves is a sweet, slight picture book that could appeal to young readers, but it isn’t a must-purchase title for any school or library collection. It might appeal most to fans of the television series Nashville or of the Stella sisters as photos of the authors are included at the end of the book.

Recommended with Reservations.

Jane Whittingham is a children’s librarian with the Vancouver Public Library in British Columbia.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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