by Suzy Lee

Hardcover, 2008



Chronicle Books (2008), Edition: 1, 40 pages


A wordless picture book that shows a little girl's first experiences at the beach, as she goes from being afraid of the roaring waves to playing on the shore while gulls soar overhead.

User reviews

LibraryThing member shelf-employed
The dust jacket says it all, "A sunny day. A curious little girl. A playful wave." This is a delightful, wordless narrative of a young girl's experience at the beach. Like children everywhere, she is alternately brave, fearful, experimental, playful, defiant, and contemplative when facing the ocean's never-ending march to the shore. The wave has its own moods as well - tentative, playful, menacing, calm, peaceful. Seagulls and a remotely watchful adult add interest, but do not detract from the featured cast - a girl and a wave. The illustrations are simply, yet expressively rendered in shades of gray and blue, created in charcoal and acrylics. A perfect book for sharing.… (more)
LibraryThing member curiousbutterpants
A simple, evocative book that relies only on Lee's illustrations to convey the entire story. When a little girl visits the beach, a simple back-and-forth friendship with a wave begins - and as the action on the beach unfolds, we're welcomed into this entrancing, almost Keaton-esque, play of emotions.

This distinctly non-eventful event of visiting the beach gives way, like all the good silent cinema of old, to a fantastic and emotional experience. It reminds us to delight in life, the big things and the small. Experience every bit of life fully, exactly like a young toddler might a wave.

Lee's book is, in one word, magnificent. From the beginning when you take this long, horizontal book off the shelf, you know it will be different. Lee uses a simple yet effective pallette of primarily whites, blues, and blacks,
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LibraryThing member carrie.murphy
This is a great picture book that tells the story of a girl's day at the beach without using any words. The illustrations are great and only uses two shades of watercolors!
LibraryThing member jaia
the simplicity of this book really speaks to the youg child, who is able to tell the story with their own words or let the traquility of the painting surround them. Most children love the beach, and will have fond stories to share and recollect.
LibraryThing member kmacneill
This book is about a little girl's day at the beach and the interaction between her and the waves. I loved this book! The art was so simple yet it was able to tell a whole story without words. This book is a great way for students to tell a story aloud using the book's pictures as a guide and their own words. It can be used to teach students how to tell a story without any words. I think this book is actually suitable for all ages. The amount of teaching opportunities that this book presents can be used in almost any classroom. I think reluctant readers would love using this book and making their own story.… (more)
LibraryThing member netaylor
Wave is a wordless story about a little girls day of playing with the wave of the ocean. The wave comes to life and seems to be conversing with the little girl through action. The illustrations are simple and delightful, telling the story of this day at the beach.
LibraryThing member annashapiro
A little girl is on the beach, looking at the waves. Her cute little cartoon-ish expressions are mimicked by the flock of seagulls behind her. At first she is scared of the incoming waves, as are the birds. Then she yells back at it, and the tide recedes. She sits and begins to consider the repetition of the waves; really think about it. She dares touch the water halfway into the story, and then on my two favorite pages, she makes it all the way into the water! She is splashing and acting silly along with the birds, who hover over her head. Her hair and dress and hands are caught in motion; the illustration frozen in the most whimsical of moments. Then, when a really big wave comes at her, she runs for it, but decides to turn around and stick her tongue at it! She isn't scared anymore! The wave crashes over her and she sits on the beach, stunned & soaking wet. Then these gigantic waves recede, revealing heaps of washed up treasures from the ocean - shells and sea stars and more. It is a magical and touching moment. Then her mom comes and they walk away, the little girl waving goodbye to the sea.… (more)
LibraryThing member jscheper
This wordless picture book is about a young girls experience at the beach. She is curious and scared and finally finds the wave brings wonderful adventures. The illustrations are done in muted blues, black, and grays, The illustrations are rendered in charcoal and acrylics. The book is longer and thinner than the standard picture book which adds to the adventure. The girl in the book is very real and her emotions are shown through facial expressions and body movement. This is a very cute book and would be a great addition to a young child's library, be it a child who is not yet reading or a child with an imagination to add more to the story. This would also be a good book to show to a child and have them add their own dialogue or story.… (more)
LibraryThing member toddphillips77
Panoramic dimension book with beautiful artwork is the perfect medium for this book.
LibraryThing member PeterSinclair
I love this book because the pictures move, and that progresses the wordless story nicely. I like the bird watching the girl. When the girl jumps in the water and then sticks her tongue out are funny and engaging scenes.
LibraryThing member KellyBryan
There is no need for words in this book because the illustrations are so powerful. The only color against the black and white is the blue of the ocean. It demonstrates the power, beauty, wonder, and ambiguity of the ocean. You can imagine yourself at the beach running away from each wave as it crashes to shore.

You can use these illustrations to have each student write their own story to match the pictures. It would be interesting to see each student's interpretation of the illustrations.… (more)
LibraryThing member suzukibeane
Without any words, Wave is a book that beckons to be read. The pull of the book occurs at first sight. Its uncommon, horizontal format unfolds to emphasize the vast landscape of the beach, the setting of the story. This book is truly a study of beauty through simplicity. There are no words used for narration, dialogue, or sound effects. Furthermore, unlike other books about children spending a day at the ocean, Wave is not concerned with why the characters go to the beach or what they plan to do there. This story begins quite directly on the title page with an illustration of a woman and girl on an empty beach. With the first page turn, the adult is no longer in the picture and what the reader is left with is the tentative first approach of the girl to the ocean. So begins the story of the relationship between a curious girl, a playful wave, and a sidekick flock of seagulls.

There is a universal nature to this book. The limited color palate of black, white, and blue harkens back to color separation lithographic printing and the era of early color picture books. The richness of the images would appeal equally to the youngest of children and the most design conscious adults. Even though there are no words, the emotions expressed by the characters are made quite clear in the images. The dialogue of the story is left to the imagination of the reader, which frees it from language and cultural barriers.
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LibraryThing member sharty
The drawings appear to be simple charcoal, but the expressions on the little girl’s face and in her body are remarkable as she looks at, tiptoes away from, taunts, contemplates, points to, commands to stop, then frolics, kicks, seems terrified of, runs from, teases, and is attacked by ocean. Clearly she is delighted when she sees the treasure, in the form of shells, the giant wave has left behind. The detail of the seagulls following her moves and moods is also simple, yet precise. The only color in these illustrations is the items that are wet. In the beginning, this is just the calm ocean, but as the wave crashes, more things have touches of or are drenched in blue. This book is remarkable in the detail of emotion coming through simple illustrations.… (more)
LibraryThing member Pusparani
“Wave” is a wonderful wordless picture book which leave a plenty room for young readers with imaginations. There are no words in this book, yet it speaks more than the words can say. I love this sweet story and want to keep it in my heart as my childhood back then is also full of joy in a small island in Indonesia, Madura island.

Wordless picture book can be seen from any point of view readers will enjoy most. The younger children might see it is a story about a little girl going to beach with her mother. For older children might see it as a play between a little girl and waves which show each power to one another. For me as adult, it is an adorable story of a friendship between a little girl and a wave that grows beautifully as they play, challenge until magically know each other.

Done in acrylics and charcoal, Lee’s artworks drive a movement as if there is a conversation between the little girl and the wave. The thin black lines separate from clear white sky and blue with some gray of the ocean. A double-page spread highlights a powerful interaction between the two.
I would recommend this picture book for all ages.
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LibraryThing member dreamer2000
good story about the child fighting with the waves as they come in and out and then get her wet at the beach.
LibraryThing member dchaikin
A little girl explores the waves at the beach. No words, wonderful illustrations. I really enjoyed letting my 4-year-old tell the story. Loved it!
LibraryThing member barefootTL
ELIB 530A – LibraryThing Part B – Beginning Book / Wordless Book 2
This is a beautifully simple book that can be shared with very young children as well as one that speaks to people of all ages. At its simplest, it is about a young girl’s first visit to the beach. But it explores a great deal more. The power, beauty and gifts of the sea are experienced in an emotional exchange between the young girl and the waves that come to the shore in this wordless book. The author/illustrator effectively portrays the complex relationship using minimal color and line in every 2-page spread.… (more)
LibraryThing member TeacherLibrarian
Lee, Suzy. Wave. (2008). San Francisco: Chronicle Books.

The illustrations in Wave show the story of a little girl who makes friends with the waves at the beach one day. At first she is afraid to get too close to the water, but as the wave moves back, she follows it and dances around in the water. She is knocked over by a big wave, but doesn’t mind since it has brought her gifts: sea shells and a starfish. Soon her mother walks over from where she’s been watching her; it’s time to go home.

The illustrations are in charcoal and acrylics and are digitally manipulated. They very clearly show the back and forth pattern of the waves, and they express the little girl’s playfulness well. The artist skillfully expresses the friendship that develops between the little girl and the wave with such images as the movement of the wave, the appearance of seashells surrounding the little girl, and the little girl’s small hand waving good-bye.

Comparison to Welcome to the Zoo

While both Wave and Welcome to the Zoo! tell a story with pictures and without words, Wave tells a more complex story than Welcome to the Zoo! does. Wave has a theme and a plot that has a climax and resolution, while Welcome to the Zoo’s story is limited and its purpose is to feature the startling scenes in its illustrations.
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LibraryThing member pumabeth
Simple, yet telling pictures, wordlessly relate a girl’s day at the seashore. Endearing and charming, the scenes contain little amusements such as the birds running from the incoming waves and the girl waving goodbye to the wave at the end.

Uses – Children can read this story to one another even when unable to read yet. In a second reading, a class or storytime group can discuss how they know what is happening in the story. Children can also write their own words for the book.… (more)
LibraryThing member nicholspdx
A beautiful telling of a little girls interaction with a wave.
LibraryThing member jaimefabey
This wordless book shows a little girl interacting, chasing and playing with an ocean wave at the beach. Eventually and happily getting soaked by the wave.
LibraryThing member CLDoyle
Use with Kindergarten through 5th grade, older children could write their own narrative for the story. Story follows a little girl that goes to the ocean and plays with the waves. At first she is hesitant, but then she realizes that the waves won't hurt her. Addresses the issue of being scared of something and then realizing that it won't hurt you. Uses in the classroom could be creating their own dialogue for the story and sharing with the class what is happing in the story.… (more)
LibraryThing member anncampbell
A wonderful way to show through pictures a young girls day at the beach. It shows her interaction with a wave in different ways. The way the book is shaped and the viewpoint makes the reader feel that they are at the beach also. It is a great way to show someone who has never been to the beach what happens.
LibraryThing member Kaberasturi
This book shows a young girl's interaction with the ocean. There is a silent dialogue between both the girl and the ocean as displayed by the fury of the waves and the girls reactions. Eventually the wave is shown crashing over the girl, but then leaves an array of seashells and other gifts from the ocean and it retreats. The book ends with a display of mutual respect between the girl and the ocean. This book would be appropriate for Pre-K through 1st grade.… (more)
LibraryThing member eleanor.robbins
I really like this book and how if I was to read it to a class that each time I read it something new would come out becuase there are no words.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

40 p.; 7.5 inches


081185924X / 9780811859240

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