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Sand Sister by Amanda White

Sand Sister

by Amanda White

Other authors: Yuyi Morales (Illustrator)

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Genre: crf.
Use: making new friends. knowing how to deal with feeling alone.

Paloma was at a beach with her family. She saw siblings playing with one another and wished she had one. She then drew one and imagined she had one. A rock talks to her which couldn't happen in real life but it is more like a dream. She and her imaginary sister run around and play with seagulls. Her parents then tell her that her mom is pregnant. This can happen in real life and shows realism to it. ( )
  HannahChesnutt | Feb 29, 2016 |
Paloma experiences a day of seaside enchantment in this lovely picture-book from English author Amanda White and Mexican-American illustrator Yuyi Morales. Left to her own devices during a family outing to the beach, and mindful that all the other children seem to have siblings and playmates with whom they can spend the day, she draws a girl in the sand, wishing with all her might that she had a sister of her own. When Big Daddy Rock overhears her whispered desire, he grants her wish, and Sandra (nicknamed "Sandy") comes to life for the day. Playing in the water, creating sand sculptures, even arguing with one another - their day is full of joy, and passes all too quickly. But when Sandy returns to the sea, as return she must, will Paloma be all alone again...?

An engaging story that can be read in multiple ways - as a tale of a child's imaginary friend, as a magical fantasy-adventure, as a story of an only child who is about to become an older sister - Sand Sister also has great visual appeal. As is usual with Yuyi Morales' work, I really enjoyed the illustrations here, with their deep, earthy palette, occasional "sparkle" to enliven a scene (and give it a magical quality), and expressive faces. Chosen as one of our July selections, over in The Picture-Book Club to which I belong, where our theme this month is seaside/beach reading, it is a book I would recommend for summer story-hour fun! ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 9, 2013 |
When Paloma and her parents go to the beach, Paloma (an only child) is a bit lonely and wishes that she had a brother or sister with whom she might play, like many of the other children at the beach. Her wish is heard by Old Daddy Big Rock, who creates a sister from the beach sand for Paloma. Until the tide comes in, Paloma and her sand sister Sandy run and play on the beach just like real siblings, like real sisters (they even have a fight). When Sandy disappears with the tide, Paloma is very sad and even more lonely than before, but her parents have a wonderful surprise announcement for her.

I know that many children will likely greatly enjoy this story, and Amanda White's loving descriptions of Paloma and Sandy's beach ramblings, games and general fun are, indeed, very sweet, very evocative of playtime, imagination, of the ocean and the beach. But for me, the story also feels somewhat depressing, even infuriating, not so much because Paloma is an only child, but because her parents seem rather clueless with regard to their daughter's needs and emotions. While reading the story, I kept wondering why the parents did not realise that their daughter was lonely and sad at having no playmate to enjoy the beach, why they did not attempt to spend some time with Paloma, why she was basically left to her own devices, to entertain herself. The parents seemingly just deposited Paloma on the beach and then did not think about her again until it was time to go home. As the parents of an only child, they should really have spent some time playing with their daughter, or at the very least made sure she was not lonely, that she was enjoying her excursion to the beach. Thus, while I did enjoy reading about Paloma and Sandy's playtime and adventures, much of the story felt more depressing and poignantly sad than heartwarming and uplifting. I would still recommend this book, but if I were reading it to a child or a group of children, I would very likely discuss what I consider the rather clueless and somewhat neglectful actions and attitudes of Paloma's parents, and that for me, Paloma's parents spending time playing with their daughter on the beach would have been more positive, more natural than the girl having to wish for a sand sister, basically an imaginary, temporary playmate.

For the most part, I greatly enjoyed Yuyi Morales' illustrations; they display a wonderful colour scheme, capturing both the magic of the ocean, the beach and the somewhat ethereal loveliness and wonder of Sandy, Paloma's sand sister (the sea green outfit worn by Sandy, the shells in her hair, make her seem a bit different from Paloma, almost like a mermaid who has risen out of the sea). I do find that some of the dimensions don't always seem to mesh (some of the human feet depicted appear a bit shapeless and Paloma's head at times seems almost too big and round for her body). But generally, the illustrations are quite magical, providing an evocative complement to the text (in fact, I would say, that I enjoy and appreciate Yuyi Morales' illustrations somewhat more than Amanda White's text). ( )
  gundulabaehre | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Amanda Whiteprimary authorall editionscalculated
Morales, YuyiIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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When lonely Paloma goes to the beach and wishes that she had a sister to play with, the girl she draws in the sand comes magically alive, and at day's end her parents give her the good news of a new baby on the way.
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When lonely Paloma goes to the beach and wishes that she had a sister to play with, the girl she draws in the sand comes magically alive, and at day's end her parents give her the good news of a new baby on the way.

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