Driftwood Cove

Reviewed: October 22, 2002
By: Story by Sandra Lightburn Art by Ron Lightburn
Publisher: Doubleday Books
32 Pages, $19.99

Katelyn and Matthew are city kids visiting their grandparents when they get caught by the potential dangers of rising tide and fog while exploring a deserted shack on a rocky island just down the beach a ways from where their tent-trailer is set up.

They might not have got caught out there if they hadn't become so fascinated with the cache of delicately carved and fashioned knickknacks they found by accident under the floorboards.

Even more to their surprise they are rescued from the fog by a goat and by the girl who made the carvings.

Salena lives with her parents, Mary and Rob in a quaint home fashioned of fallen trees and driftwood.  She has grown up here home schooled by her parents who seem to be intelligent and rational people. Their home is filled with books, while the live by fishing, gardening, foraging in the forest and raising goats for milk.

For the city kids, this extreme rural lifestyle is a real revelation, one they share with their grandparents after the fog has lifted and the Salena's parents have taken them back to the beach.

This little  book reads ore like a regular short story than anything else.  There are no obvious concessions to the younger audience save in the ages of the viewpoint characters.

The artwork in this book is almost hyper-realistic, especially considering that all the drawings were executed and rendered in coloured pencil. The grandparents appear to be artfully aged versions of this husband and wife team, which made me wonder if there models for the other characters.

Driftwood Cove has a pastoral, almost fairy-tale, sort of feel to it for all its realism. It's a most enjoyable tale.