Review of The Tide Pool Waits

The Tide Pool Waits The Tide Pool Waits
by Candace Fleming; illus. by Amy Hevron
Primary    Porter/Holiday    40 pp.    g
4/22    978-0-8234-4915-6    $18.99

This informative and appealing nonfiction picture book gives young readers a detailed look at the tide-pool ecology of the Pacific Coast, the “astonishing world” of creatures that wait in seawater collected among rocks on the shore until the next high tide. The text begins before the title-page spread, as ocean waves slap onto the shore and then retreat; ­Fleming captures the ocean’s movement with drama (the waves “CR-A-A-A-A-SH” and then “cr-e-e-e-e-p out”). After the water pools, mussels, snails, chitons, an octopus, and others wait patiently until the “pool is part of the sea once more.” Just as the sea “brim[s] with life,” the text is filled with vivid and descriptive action verbs: sea anemones “bloom,” waves “sweep,” the octopus “glides,” a rock crab “scoots,” and more. Fleming’s expertly paced text rolls much like the “restless” wave on the shore; the repetition of “They wait” in the first half builds anticipation as the story slowly unfolds. Hevron’s textured illustrations invite close inspection; her depiction of the animals when they return to the ocean is especially inviting as the undersea world fills with color and movement. Her shapes are simple; her compositions, unfussy. Ample back matter provides information on how these creatures survive the low tide.

From the March/April 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Julie Danielson
Julie Danielson
Julie Danielson writes about picture books at the blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. She also writes for Kirkus Reviews and BookPage and is a lecturer for the School of Information Sciences graduate program at the University of Tennessee. Her book Wild Things!: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature, written with Betsy Bird and Peter D. Sieruta, was published in 2014.

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