1 out of 4 stars
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Grab your swimsuits, towels, sunscreen, and hats because Sassy and Taffy are heading to the beach in Let’s Get Sandy at the Beach. Sassy and Taffy aren’t actually going to need any of those things for their trip to the beach since they are cockapoos. However, their owners, Grandma and Grampa Farkas, are packing those things up along with the dogs and their grandchild for a day of fun in the sun. This children’s story, written by Grampa Farkas himself, is told through the eyes of Sassy who has no idea what the beach is, but she is happy to go on any adventure instigated by Grampa Farkas. The trip to the beach is Sassy and Taffy’s fifth adventure shared by Grampa Farkas in his Sassy and Taffy Adventure series.
A story told from the point of view of a dog completely out of her element sounds like a fun tale for children. However, your time would be better spent actually going to the beach than reading this book. I make that recommendation for many reasons. The first issue that I have with the book is that Sassy’s canine status is not apparent. When the book begins, there is no way to know that the story is being told from a dog’s perspective. It can be deduced from the pictures and the use of the term “pack” to describe the group of people, but to very young children, I don’t think this would be obvious enough.
My second point of discontent with Let’s Get Sandy at the Beach is the actual story of the journey to the beach. A trip to the beach from the perspective of a dog is very similar to that of a child. A child would not be familiar with sand or the idea that water doesn’t stand still and is forever washing up on the beach. This may be cute to watch a child or dog discover, but to read about it is quite uninteresting. Sassy doesn’t understand what words like ‘beach,’ ‘California,’ or ‘beach cart’ mean. These words are emphasized with the utilization of italicized font. Every time Grampa Farkas wants to indicate to the reader that Sassy doesn’t know the exact meaning of a word, he has it italicized. Again, this is not something I think children would catch on to. It was also quite distracting.
Let’s Get Sandy at the Beach is truly a ‘picture’ book. By that I mean, Grampa Farkas didn’t use an illustrator to create images for his book, he used his own family pictures. The one on the front cover is of poor quality, and there is a second one where Sassy and Taffy were clearly cut from another picture and pasted onto a picture of Grandma and Grampa Farkas' grandchild. Other than the fact that the pictures are poorly done, who wants to read a book where someone else’s family pictures are included? I don’t believe Grampa and Grandma Farkas’ beach pictures would be appealing to a child who does not know them.
Sadly, this book is not worthy of more than 1 out of 4 stars. There is nothing I particularly enjoyed about it; the pictures are poorly done, the story is uninteresting, and the book was obviously not professionally edited. A child under the age of five who enjoys stories told from the perspective of a pet could find some entertainment in Sassy and Taffy’s journey to the beach, but I wouldn’t recommend it; I suggest parents find a book for their children that has a more professional quality.
Let's Get Sandy at the Beach
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