ocean-breezy happiness in a book

It’s been sand buckets and sun lotion this week on Orange Marmalade.

If you missed my round-up of peachy, beachy picture books, that’s here.

Today I’ve got a charming piece of fiction, sweet as fresh strawberry ice cream, fresh as that ocean breeze, perfect for girls ages 7 and up.

secret sisters of the salty sea cover image

Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea, written and illustrated by Lynne Rae Perkins
published in 2018 by Greenwillow Books
223 pages

Two sisters, Alix and Jools, are heading to the seaside for the first time ever! Will this really be as good as Mom and Dad say? Alix can’t imagine, and it’s a bit hard saying goodbye for a week to her dog, Trevor, and best friend, Rose.

At the beach, though, there’s a sweet cottage awaiting them, new friends, and starry skies twinkling onto nighttime waves. There are sandcastles to build, periwinkles to collect, and warm cinnamon cake from the bakery.


Their week at the beach, in fact, is a sun-soaked time of family togetherness, of ordinary pleasures, minor mishaps, happy adventures, and icky bugs, of sunburn and sea glass, humor and hugs.

secret sisters illustration3 by Lynne Perkins

It is, I think, a perfect gem of a book. Lynne Rae Perkins is a master observer of the little details that compose our lives, the loveliness of the ordinary, the weightiness of seeming-inconsequentials, the sweet, quiet interactions that stitch a family together. She delivers it all with such a light hand, a lemon chiffon touch. Hammock-easy. Favorite-blue-jeans friendly. Disarmingly honest. The story creams by effortlessly, but, oh, the beauty of it. And humor. Gentle, loving humor.


To top it off, there are instructions for making a sea glass necklace which is, in fact, a spot-on project for this age group.

I would nab this book in a hot second for a daughter ages 7-10. Great gentle read for precocious readers as well. Illustrated throughout with Perkins’ comfy graphite drawings.

Find dozens of picture books, nonfiction, and chapter-length reads perfectly suited to the beach at this link.