Saturday, May 3, 2008

Wave by Suzy Lee

Wave by Suzy Lee
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books (April 16, 2008)
ISBN-10: 081185924X
ISBN-13: 978-0811859240
Source of book: Review copy from publisher

This gorgeous and wordless picture book tells the story of a little girl's day at the beach. When she first arrives at the ocean, she's a little shy and uncertain as she looks at the daunting wave before her. As she grows more comfortable, she roars at the wave as it recedes into the ocean, and she finally musters up the courage to jump in and splash around. The wave, however, gets the last laugh and drenches her, but she soon forgets as she sees the treasure that washes ashore.

I have to tell you that this wordless book nearly rendered me speechless the first time I flipped through it. It's a universal story that every person who has been to the ocean will be familiar with. You don't NEED words to tell this story. The stunning images open up the senses and evoke emotion. I could smell the ocean, feel the spray on my face, hear the little girl's laughter, and feel her awe and reverence toward this powerful force of nature along with her delight.

Photo courtesy of Chronicle Books

It's the simplicity of the book that makes it truly powerful. The black and white panoramic drawings of the girl, her mother, and the seagulls are accented with splashes of the ocean's brilliant blue. When the wave finally engulfs the little girl at the end and recedes back into the ocean, the pages also become engulfed in blue--the sky, the girl's dress, the sea shells, etc.

This book makes me want to go to the beach. It conjures up my own memories of my childhood, and makes me reminisce about the innocence of childhood and the magic of the ocean. Accessible to children and parents of many cultures and languages and accessible to children who can't yet read or who are struggling with reading, I give Wave my highest recommendation.

Visit Suzy Lee's website to see more illustrations from Wave.

What other bloggers are saying:

Mindy's Book Journal: "A day at the beach has never been as lovely as it is in this book. Pair it with Flotsam or savor Wave on its own for its beautiful simplicity, but don’t pass this by. Perhaps a favorite of the year for me."

Do you have a review of Wave? If so, leave your link in the comments, and I'll include it here.


  1. I can't wait to see this book! My first picture book just sold to Chronicle, so I'm in the process of devouring every title they've done. Thanks for sharing this review!

  2. Kate,
    Congratulations! That's so so so exciting! Chronicle has some really wonderful picture books, and I have a couple more Chronicle reviews coming up soon. Best of luck with your picture book!