Reviews provided by Syndetics
School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 2-Although she knows how to swim, Alice, the youngest in her family, is afraid to move beyond the safety of the shallows. Every morning she watches from the jetty as her parents and brothers laugh and splash in the "smooth dark water" and wishes that she could join them. Her anxiety makes her feel frustrated and angry. Then one day, while playing on the beach, she spots a group of dolphins and wades into the ocean. Mesmerized by their antics, she tries to get closer, and is soon surprised to find herself far away from the shore. Exhilaration and pride follow Alice's brief moment of alarm, as she realizes that swimming in the deep is just like swimming in the shallows. Her fear of the ocean depths is nicely balanced by her attraction to its wonders, and the descriptive text gives readers a clear idea of what she is missing by remaining on land. The colorful paintings are filled with excitement and movement, as dolphins, brightly patterned fish, and Alice's exuberant family members cavort against blue and green backdrops. A good selection for collections needing stories about conquering fear.-Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Ages 4^-7. "The water looked beautiful. It went all greeny-blue out there. It was deep. So deep you couldn't see the bottom." These thoughts run through Alice's head as she tries to overcome her fear of swimming in the deep ocean water near her home. Frightened and miserable, she watches every day as her parents and two older brothers jump and dive, calling her to join them. Alice does overcome her fear, but the way it happens--she unthinkingly follows some playful dolphins who come into the shallow water back out to the deep--is so unique it doesn't give youngsters with similar fears any way to transfer and adapt Alice's actions to their situation. Louise's realistic illustrations capture the fresh colors of the sea, and the landscapes are strong, but some of the figures appear awkward and disproportionate. Although this title may not find a broad audience, it will strike a chord with kids who relate to Alice's fears. --Lauren PetersonRBB
Horn Book Review
Although her family loves swimming in the deep water off the jetty, youngest sibling Alice always stays in the shallows. She finally loses her fear one day when playful dolphins lure her farther and farther out. Alice's emotions are well conveyed, though the story is slight. In the energetic, deeply colored pastels, Alice often looks like several different girls. From HORN BOOK Fall 2000, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.