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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Ballyhoo Bay (Picture Book)

Released February 2009

Reviewed by Bob Walch

Mira Bella loves to teach art and share her talent with others. Every Saturday the artist goes down to the water's edge at Ballyhoo Bay where she, teaches "etching and sketching to grannies and kids, and undersea sculpture to swordfish and squids."

Just when she is planning an art fair to showcase the wonderful creations of the seals, pelicans, crabs and seagulls, disaster hits. A big sign proclaims that Ballyhoo Bay beach is about to be transformed into an apartment complex that will close the area to all the "regulars.”

Bella decides this is a ridiculous notion and comes up with a plan to save Ballyhoo Bay, which she takes to the town hall for a village meeting.
The local citizens and beach/ocean critters that accompany her are pretty and Bella is able to convince the village leaders that the beach is for everyone and not just wealthy folks.

The development is canceled, the art fair is held on the beach and everyone in Ballyhoo Bay has a wonderful time celebrating their victory.
The message here is pretty straightforward: a group of determined friends can make a difference and save something that is very important to them.

Derek Anderson's bright, bold, colorful illustrations are very eye appealing, the rhymed text is fun to read aloud, and the preschoolers will enjoy identifying the various sea and land creatures that are featured in the story. What's not to like about BALLYHOO BAY?

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