Beach Toys vs. School Supplies (Mike Ciccotello)

Hello, friends! Our book today Beach Toys vs. School Supplies by Mike Ciccotello, an end-of-summer tale of teamwork and cooperation.

Shovel and the other beach toys are having a lovely, lazy day at the beach – until Ruler and his fellow school supply pals show up. There’s clearly some bad blood between these implement gangs: the beach toys accuse the school supplies of being stuffy know-it-all’s, while the school supplies write the beach toys off as frivolous and silly. Only one way to settle this summer showdown: a sand-castle building contest. And while the beach toys think they’ve got an obvious edge, the school supplies are more skilled than they expected. Who will triumph? And can the instruments find a common ground, or will they draw a permanent line in the sand?

Punny summer fun. As kiddos start making the transition from the end of summer to the start of school, this entertaining tale does a great job of showing the importance of balancing talents and knowledge through teamwork and communication. In the end, the school supplies create a better castle, but the expertise of the beach toys saves it from the rising tide of the surf; it’s a good example of cooperation that also works as a metaphor for the summer/school transition. The dialogue is punny, though not obnoxiously so, and fun to read aloud. The illustrations are cartoonish and fun, using cinematic angles and expressive characters to add to the excitement. The length is great for a quick storytime, and JJ loved the clever mashup of the tool groups and their beach tale. This is a great one to check out as summer winds down, and we definitely recommend it: Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)