All the kids are heading for the beach on "Fun in the Sun" -- another delightful installment from Snoopy's Klassics on Toys -- which has given us CDs of classical, country, jazz, and Beatles' songs played by a group of Canadian virtuosoes on toy instruments, and joined this time by a trio of spirited child singers who are clearly having a ball with this music. There are some great summer tunes here, like "Wipe Out," "Beach Party," and "Jamaica Farewell" that have become theme songs for crashing waves, salty air, and balmy, moon-lit nights. It's a delicious surprise to hear them done this way -- like hotdogs and marshmallows cooked over a bonfire.
But if it's raining and your young beach-combers are stuck inside, you might
want to have handy Elizabeth van Steenwyk's book, Let's Go to the Beach: A History
of Sun and Fun by the Sea for elementary and middle school readers. It's full
of fascinating beach lore, from the ancient Egyptians, to the discovery of the
shore as a place for medicinal cures in the late 1700s, when one Dr. Richard
Russell learned that people felt immeasurably better after they were pulled
out of the salt water that he prescribed for them to be plunged into. There
are sections about the rise of ocean-side resorts and amusement parks, about
life saving, types of sand and sand castle construction, the evolution of the
swim suit, and, of course, the saga of the surfboard -- that tricky vehicle
of magic to ride into the sunset.
Copyright © 2002, John Cech
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