Caught in the "Riptide": a Review

 


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Has a book ever grabbed you long before your hands met the cover, long before your eyes glossed over the jacket copy? Has a book ever compelled you long before you heard the rhythm of its prose, long before its glossy pages slipped between your fingers?

A book did that for me. “Riptide" did that for me.

It was last year. I was in Cape Cod on vacation, enjoying lazy late spring mornings on the sand dunes and afternoons browsing through touristy shops for the best souvenirs. During the course of the day, I chanced upon a pamphlet detailing, among other things, the work of local writers. There, in crisp black and white, was an image of the cover of “Riptide" - a dog standing high atop a grassy dune, head into the wind, hair blown back, overlooking the ocean.

I knew at once that - despite the fact that Riptide is a children's book and I have no children - I must have this book.

My husband and I hunted high and low for that book, and despite the fact that we tore apart every bookshop on Cape Cod, it was nowhere to be found. And though I enjoyed every moment of my Cape Cod Holiday, I went home empty-handed and ever so slightly disappointed.

Happily though, we live in an age of technology, and weeks later, I came home from work to find a book-sized box waiting for me. And there it was - my much sought-after “Riptide" right on my own front step.

"Riptide" is easily the most beautiful book I've ever laid eyes on, both in the way of its prose and its artwork.

Frances Ward Weller writes exquisite prose. Her prose delivers the romance of the shoreline, with words that are certain to enchant adults and a rhythm sure to sooth any child. . .

They called him Rip. Riptide Windjammer. Not Scout or Pal or any of the plain old names for dogs they knew. Riptide for a current that runs out to sea when sandbars crumble. Windjammer for a ship that runs before the wind.

"Riptide" is illustrated to perfection by Robert J. Blake, an experienced book illustrator for both children and adults. His oil based illustrations capture the essence of the New England seashore. In his paintings, you feel the rush of the wind and the sting of the sea spray. His paintings are full of motion and sunshine. Children will love these paintings, and they would make beautiful framed prints for any aficionado of the seashore.

"Riptide" would make a beautiful coffee table book, as well.

Based on the true story of a dog who loved the sea, “Riptide" is sure to keep any child captivated. It's a book that an adult would not mind reading again and again to the child in his or her life.

**One word of caution:

"Riptide" may not be suitable for very young children, as several of the closing pages are disturbing, both in content and in illustration.

Lisa is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Creative Writing

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