Waiting for High Tide, by Nikki McClure, Abrams Books for Young Readers, $19.95, 48 pages, ages 6-9. (April 5, 2016)

Nikki McClure is to cut paper what Robert Sabuda is to pop-ups: the master of her domain. Her latest endeavor is based on a family summer outing to the Salish Sea near Olympia, Washington, when the McClure family built a raft lovingly named the Leaky Kon-Tiki, which the author explains in her endnotes.

In Waiting for High Tide, an anxious boy combs the beach for crabs, clams, and kingfishers. As he waits for the adults to finish constructing their watercraft, the boy observes various marine animals also at work, foraging for food, building nests, and waiting for the tide to change. The child’s narrative is simple and charming, revealing his intimate understanding of this special coastal area.

McClure’s cutouts are done from single sheets of black paper and contrast beautifully against large swaths of gray-blue and pops of pink. Though time and tide wait for no man, this book is a gorgeous ode to the pleasures of anticipation and the wonders of a summer spent by the sea.

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