|Image from BarnesandNoble.com|
It’s a beautiful summer day and Roxanne is going to the beach. She’s got everything ready to go: the turtle, the umbrella, the book of stories, the orange beach ball, and most important of al, her baby. She piles everything into the car, but it won’t start! Roxanne tries the bus, but something couldn’t go with them. What was it? The bus won’t allow animals on board, so the turtle can’t go. She can’t leave the turtle behind, so the bus just won’t do. Roxanne tries a bicycle, a skateboard, a kayak, and a hot air balloon, but each mode of transportation prohibits one of her items from traveling. Just when she’s about to give up, a farmer passes by with his horse and cart. Roxanne, her baby, and all the necessary beach items are able to get a ride to the beach, where they have a wonderful time.
Originally published in Switzerland, Luciani’s simple story uses straight forward text that helps readers progress through the story and make logical deductions along with Roxanne. The repetitive refrain, “But something couldn’t go with them. What was it?” sets up the story to be a guessing game, keeping readers engaged. The summery watercolor illustrations support the game as well, if you look closely at each illustration the item that cannot go on that mode of transportation will be missing from the picture. The featured items are brightly colored, making them easy for kids to identify from page to page.
Even though there are only five objects to remember, it can be difficult to keep track of them at the beginning of the story. The first time the objects are mentioned in the book, post them on a flannelboard (you can also use laminated pictures) so that kids have a visual representation to refer to as you progress through the story. Make sure to leave enough time for the kids to figure out the missing object each time the question is posed.
Use this book for a beach or summer themed storytime. Follow up with the rhymes, Let’s Go to the Beach and I Walked to the Beach. I love finding different versions of the Wheels on the Bus, so you won’t be surprised when you hear the tune for Waves at the Beach. Craft-wise, try this easy pattern for making turtles out of paper bowls.
If you have play time after your storytime, bring in some beach balls. Just make sure you remove any breakable objects from the room first! If you have preschool or kindergarten aged kids, try taping some lines on the floor for them to roll the ball along.