Bluey: The Beach by Bluey
Puffin Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781760894054.
(Age: 2-5) Board Book, Lift-the-Flaps Book, Independence. As a TV show, Bluey has been a phenomenal success, so it is no surprise that there was great anticipation around the release of the accompanying books. This one is based on a similarly titled Bluey episode in which she and her family head to the beach for a fun day out. When Mum heads off on a walk, Bluey asks her why she likes walking alone. 'I just do', she replies. Bluey thinks it's a strange answer, but when she gets an opportunity for a solo walk of her own she begins to understand. Her journey across the sand is filled with adventure and independent problem solving. She is faced with a flock of seagulls, a big wave, a weeing pipi, a myriad of crabs, an abandoned sand castle and a pelican blocking her path. As she proceeds she gains confidence and persists even in adversity, leading to a joyous reunion with Mum. 'I love walking by myself', she says. She doesn't know how to explain why; 'I just do', she says.
The Bluey TV show and this book are filled with typically Australian cultural and social references and most children and families will identify with at least something in this book; burying yourself in the sand, listening for the ocean in a shell and poking jelly blobs on the sand. The book is made more engaging by the use of flaps, that in themselves are part of the story and help to create a sense of movement and action. The text reads fine but it works better if the reader and the audience are already familiar with the narrative from the television episode. This is fine, however, because the target audience will be. It certainly won't disappoint the millions of dedicated Bluey fans out there.