With picture book art, my tastes tend towards either the incredibly elaborate (Graeme Base), the evocative (Divya Srinivasan), or the wildly expressive (Mo Willems!).
But when you can say this much with this little, I can’t help but be impressed.
Wave, in nothing but two shades of watercolour and absolutely no text, tells the story of a little girl’s day at the beach — and a story of friendship, and of nature’s cycles.
Immediately, the girl (followed by a posse of seagulls) begins to interact with the ocean itself, and the ocean is very nearly as much of a character as she herself is. She waves; it waves back. She chases the waves as they recede; the waves then chase her. She plays in them, and taunts them, and the ocean “responds.”
There are no words between the two, just as there are no words in the book itself, but they manage to communicate just the same.
And their interaction arguably goes even beyond the superficial — when the little girl crosses the line and ends up soaked as a result, the ocean leaves behind presents for her in turn.
Because sometimes, you’ve just got to risk getting wet to find out what’s hidden beneath the surface.
To make friends. :)