A young girl named Jamie digs sand and shells on a rock-strewn, sandy beach, completely immersed in the rhythm of her own creative world in Hum and Swish, a reflective picture book from author-illustrator Matt Myers.
“Jamie and the sea are friends. Jamie hums. The waves swish,” writes Myers. As Jamie’s unique rock and shell creations take shape―some resembling people, others resembling increasingly elaborate creatures―a parade of passersby and even her parents cheerily inquire about what she’s making, much to Jamie’s increasing ire. She’s not sure, and no one seems to understand that until a woman sets up her easel nearby. When Jamie asks what she’s making, the woman says, “I don’t know yet,” and both continue to work side by side, quietly enjoying each other’s presence until each proudly completes and shares her masterpiece.
Myers’ understated storyline and moody ocean scenes perfectly complement Jamie’s introspective world and her desire to follow her own artistic instincts. The story’s natural simplicity and Myers’ intriguing illustrations make for a kid-pleasing examination of both the joy and marvelous uncertainty of the artistic process.