What does summer mean to you?
Claire Saxby is sure to conjure up some special summer memories for you in this warm and playful book. She’s written a superb story about the staple summer activity of many Australian families- a trip to the beach.
In this story, we meet a family and their dog, who are visiting the Carrum Sailing Club, complete with a green troll bridge and multi-coloured bathing boxes. Although the family plan on watching the sailors sail, the majority of the story focuses on the journey rather than the destination.
Before they lay eyes on the boats and the sailors, the family embarks on a range of little adventures: dancing with the seagulls, seeking treasure in the tide line and chasing waves.
With a strong use of onomatopoeia, Claire has created a playful and lively story. As we read it, we too can sense the sand scrunching under our feet, the rumble of the river colliding with the sea and the popping of sea grapes.
Claire has also captured the spirit of children and the joy of imagination. She makes reference to stomping across a green troll bridge. To adults it might simply be a bridge, but to children it’s a bridge that belongs to a troll. It is one which you must stomp across, if you want to make it to the beach.
Christina Booth has complimented Claire’s language so beautifully. My favourite page is the colourful image of iconic Australian bathing boxes. I also love the detail of seagulls hovering in almost every scene and yacht-shaped clouds in the sky.
The family do finally get to watch the yachts sail as the chomp away at their packed lunches.
I read The Carrum Sailing Club and I look forward to the summer days ahead: warm mornings, day trips to the beach, spending time with family, feeling relaxed, taking the day as it comes and listening to my daughter squeal with delight as she plays in the sand alongside the waves.
Maybe you’ve never visited the Carrum Sailing Club, but I bet this story will help you remember a beach which is special to you.
Author: Claire Saxby
Illustrator: Christina Booth
Publisher: Windy Hollow Books, October 2011
Suitable for ages: 2+