"Jamie and the sea are friends.
Jamie hums. The waves swish."
Here's a beautiful book that respects the timeless nature of childhood. As Jamie "makes" by the sea, people come and go. They ask questions, pass judgements, and expect her to name, classify, and justify her creation. How Jamie feels about this is all conveyed in Matt Myers' art. Her expressions and body language tell us everything. No words needed.
The story is 158 words, people. 158 words!
Here's a great interview with Matt Myers and a brilliant quote--"A picture book is not called a word book, after all. If you love language, show your love by making a few words feel special. Let the pictures write a line for you."
This is Myers' debut as both author and illustrator, and he does a superior job at both. Hum and Swish is a great mentor text for those of us who only write.
With art that's both playful and rich in feeling, Hum and Swish turns a simple scene of a girl playing in the sand into a portrait of an artist that says something profound about creativity, childhood, and living in the moment.
Oh, and it's from Neal Porter's new imprint at Holiday House so...no wonder it's good.