Title: She Sells Sea Shells
Illustrator: Bruno Merz
Publisher: Music Together LLC
A book that brings an adult and a child together in a fun, educational and learning experience is wonderful and uplifting. The Music Together Singalong Storybooks do just that and more, especially in the short children's book, "She Sells Sea Shells."
This thirty-two page hardbound over-sized book has a drawing of a young barefoot girl running along a beach carrying sea shells with her dog trailing behind her. Each water color with colored pencil drawing by illustrator Bruno Merz covers two full open pages with big, easy to understand scenes. Some pictures have matching colored items that correspond to the song's wording along with detailed, fun little beach animals or birds. This book is geared for a parent or adult to read to a child from birth to six years old and includes several pages of instructions, suggestions on reading tips, singing and imaginative projects to do. There is nothing scary or unnerving in the book that would frighten a toddler or preschooler.
Taken from Mary Anning's tongue twister from the early eighteen hundreds about a young girl who collects and sells sea shells on the beach, the song was written by Kenneth K. Guilmartin, who is also founder and director of Music Together. At the beginning of the book, there is a page explaining how to use the book and recording, a page dedicated to the international Music Together program, and a page about the song's history. One can go online and buy for ninety-nine cents an audible MP3 version to play along while reading the story.
The creative yet simple illustrated works depict the girl waving good-bye to her sea captain father at the light house in the morning, collecting several different types of colored sea shells, rowing in her boat to another beach, selling them to the beach-goers, rowing back home and greeting her father again at night time. At the end of the book, there are two pages of suggested activities, a music sheet of the song, and how to purchase the song on their website.
With this song that many older generation parents or grandparents remember, it is a marvelous interactive tool that not only connects with a young, innocent child, but one can remember the words and (if the audible song is needed) sing along. With all the negativity in the world today, Music Together does a delightful job convincing us that all children are musical with this nicely illustrated, innocuous children's book.