The beach is a world full of
possibilities for Peter and his dog Urchin. There are stones to skip across the
waves, sand to turn into castles, and the shoreline waits to be explored. When
a wave destroys his sand castle, Peter reacts, tossing stones. Is there
magic–perhaps–in the sand dollar that he finds? Peter uses the sand dollar, but is the right choice for the beautiful sea around him? A little flounder
flopping helplessly inspires Peter to think, “What have I done?” He calls upon
the sand dollar again. At last, he sees the ocean come back to life and Peter
and Urchin head home.
Blue sea and sky; sand beach and boy; dull green grass and
sea animals; with white for the gulls, sea foam, and (smartly) the outlines, as
well as for the boy’s sand-spotted, blue-eyed dog: dos Santos’ flat, two-color illustrations
give the impression that we are viewing the scenery in the glare of the sun.
They are simple and effective, and her short text is equally bare and
direct…. There’s not a distancing word about tides or a false or unnecessary one
about Peter’s view of things–just an artist-observer’s view of the scene, with
Peter at the center.