Enchanted Lion Books, Hardcover, 9781592701216, 32pp.
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
The story of a boy's visit to the beach, Beach Feet opens with a small boy feeling the heat of the sand and then running towards the ocean. Free and independent despite his young age and the tube around his waist, the boy gives himself over to the ocean and the pleasures to be had at water's edge. Throughout, the boy's connection to the beach through his feet--the feel of sand, shells, water--is never lost. Unusual perspectives and a pitch-perfect voice make this a standout.
Kiyomi Konagaya was born in 1936 in Shizuoka, Japan. At university, he studied English literature and published his poetry in literary magazines. After graduation, he took a job at an advertising agency. In 1977 he won the prestigious Mr. H Award (for new poets) for Little Voyage 26. He also won the twenty-first Takami Jun Prize in 1991, and the twenty-fifth Contemporary Poetry Award in 2007.
Masamitsu Saito was born in 1958 in a seaside town along Kujyukuri Beach in Chiba, so he grew up to the sound of waves. He studied graphic design at Tama Art University. His work can be found in magazines and books, as well as on chocolate packages.
"This one a sunny, vibrant gem is sublime." -- New York Times
So evocatively does poet Konagaya observe the experiences of feet at the beach, and so vividly does artist Saito record them, that to read this book is to be transported straight to the seaside.  Big forms provide motion and action, while the artwork gives the pages a sense of velvety luxury. A small-scale creation that yields unexpected richness of experience.” Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
"Succinct, moment-by-moment narration delivers the child’s experiences in brief snippets of text that exult in the sensuous experiences of the surroundings. Throughout, Saito’s pastel illustrations make the most of cool and warm shades to convey the juxtaposition of water and sand and sun, while spontaneous line work depicts the exuberance of the child’s movements and the ebb and flow of the sea. Together, words and pictures combine to create a slice-of-life picture book that is more about setting than character and less a story than it is a mood piece. A quietly sublime depiction of a child at play by the sea." Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
"There is such a feeling of seaside exuberance in Masamitsu Saito's illustrations for"Beach Feet" (Enchanted Lion, 32 pages, $14.95) that as you turn the pages you can almost taste the salty spray. In delicious vivid colors, we follow a small boy as he relishes a day at the beach through the sensations of his feet: The "ow, ow, ow!" of baking sand, the "ahhh" of wet, cool sand and the splash of cold waves." -- Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal
"Konagaya’s very short text is a delight. The translation from the Japanese is successful, keeping the quiet yet excited mood of exploring a beach. It offers just enough context to share the pleasures of the ocean without getting in the way at all, making it ideal for very young listeners.
The illustrations by Saito are rich and deep. They move from playful exuberance to quieter moments. The bright yellow of the sunshine, the cool grey of wet sand, the blue of the waves. This art captures the beach perfectly. It has a wonderful fluidity to it, captured most effectively in the skin of the child that flows from oranges and pinks.
A successful look at a day at the beach that is perfect to share with toddlers, this book should come along with a shovel and pail. Appropriate for ages 2-4." -- Tasha Saecker, Waking Brain Cells