When my husband was invited to choose some used books from a colleague’s retired collection, he brought home a treasure trove of reading materials. Among his findings was a well-worn copy of a guide to seashells, one that had yellowed with age and whose pages were slowly losing their binding. While it was the thought that counted, we wound up recycling the book after a cursory look-through–and long before having a chance to consult it on beach excursions with our young daughters. Having practically grown up on the beach myself, I was always collecting the jewels of low tide, but my knowledge of seashell classification never went beyond periwinkles and mussels. This summer, however, we’re going to do things right, thanks to the just-published Seashells: Treasures From the Northeast Coast. This paperback guide is the perfect primer for kids who have moved past the art of sea collecting, and want to know just what they’re putting in their sand pails. Equally balanced with soft watercolor illustrations and straightforward text, this engaging book reads like a teacher might speak: asking thought-provoking questions, while cleverly tucking in some lesser-known factoids (as with a tree’s rings, you can count the number of lines on a clam to learn its age) . We like that it’s as appropriate for preschoolers just beginning to learn about the coast, as it is for middle school-aged kids who can benefit from some detailed information. Perfectly sized to fit in your beach bag, this is the book to have on hand the next time you’re combing the shoreline.
In a Nutshell: From New England to New York, seashells are in abundance. Help your kids make sense of their summer treasures with this easy-to-read pocket guide to the shoreline.