Ballyhoo Bay – written by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Derek Anderson
This is clearly the work of a master storyteller. Judy Sierra comes across as someone who has had loads of experience working and interacting with children. She understands what excites them and what retains their attention. A quick google search affirms. With years of working as a puppeteer, children’s librarian and a writer, she is in command of her craft.
The illustrations are vibrant and effective. Nothing, and I mean nothing, has been taken for granted and every little bit on the page has character and personality and shows tremendous skill. That, to me, spells genius. Be it, the main character, Mira Bella, or the clam that marches by her side; the octopus that sculpts or the sea squirts that spit on stencils to dye t-shirts. Every page is a visual delight!
The story is simple and delightful. It teaches children the importance of team spirit and caring for the community. It celebrates individuality and that it is possible to overcome obstacles.
Personally, I am in love with Mira Bella’s polka dotted outfit. 🙂