cover image A House by the Sea

A House by the Sea

Joanne Ryder. Morrow Junior Books, $15 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-688-12675-9

As he frolics in the surf with one of his friends and his dog, a boy imagines the fun to be had if he could live in a little house by the sea. Sweet's airy watercolors capture the breezy wistfulness of a ``what if'' fantasy, as well as play up the childlike energy of the rhyming text. Ryder's silly scenarios include a neighborly octopus happy to lend an ``an arm doing this, / and an arm doing that,'' and frisky seals noshing on ``fish-eyed pie'' at the local snack shop. The romp never loses steam, with the narrator and his companions dancing on the sand ``round the rim / of the sea'' on the final page. This cheery volume transmits a fondness for the shore that even landlubbers may find infectious. Ages 3-up. (Mar . )