Friday, July 30, 2010

Thoughts on Wave by Suzy Lee

The ZooA quick comment about the picture book Wave by Suzy Lee. My first exposure to the work of Suzy Lee was in a picture book The Zoo which I reviewed on my blog here after receiving a review copy from that publisher, Kane/Miller. I loved The Zoo.

For Christmas last year I was shopping on for a gift for my husband's godson and discovered Wave by Suzy Lee, published by Chronicle Books. Having loved Lee's work in The Zoo I bought it sight unseen.

Wave is a wordless book about a child at the beach. I had confidence that Suzy Lee would do a good job with this book.

This boy was about to turn two and spends a week a year at a beach for summer vacation. I had a gut feeling this book would be loved by the family so long as they were open-minded and creative enough to talk about the book and what they see as they went through it. (Not all parents read books in that way with kids.) Knowing that both parents are Yale grads I was crossing my fingers and hedging my bets that they'd handle the book "reading" well.

When it arrived, thanks to UPS delivery, I loved it. I didn't have much time with the book before the Christmas holiday, so didn't do a book review on it. I "read" it through and realized how much could be told about this story of the child playing at the beach just through illustration.

A few months later the mother reached out to me to share how the book is a giant hit in the family. The two year old begs for the book to be "read" over and over. They talk about the book. The boy made up a story to go with it and "tells" this story. The book was being read daily in their home!

Hearing things like that, how a child can be enraptured by a book and really loves the reading experience with their parent, and how a book can help parents and a toddler bond and talk to each other is what really warms my heart. It doesn't get any better than that.

I have a bit of melancholy knowing that Wave was published after my kids were past that stage and that I can't have that same experience with them. I can always hope the day will come when I can have that with my future grandchildren! In the mean time I am trying to just focus on loving my kids and enjoying the experiences that we have as I parent these tween-aged sons. I'm not letting myself think of what is not happening here, just focus on what is happening and the goodness of that.

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