A young girl and her parents enjoy idyllic summers by the bay year after year in The Little Blue Cottage, an endearing celebration of summer traditions and the ways those traditions inevitably change over time.
Author Kelly Jordan succinctly conveys the child’s bond to this special place. Days at the cottage are filled with sensory fun—the songs of seagulls, the smells of pancakes and sunscreen, the sight of boats with colorful sails in the distance. The cottage is a home away from home where the girl plays boisterously and, in quieter moments, sits on a window seat in a cozy alcove, gazes out at the waves and tells the cottage, “You are my favorite place.”
Illustrator Jessica Courtney-Tickle’s vibrant art imbues the cottage and its inhabitants with a classical feel while retaining a modern sensibility. The blue cottage gleams beside the bay’s turquoise waves and shimmers amid green hills and grass. Courtney-Tickle’s use of varying frame and image sizes is admirably effective, as in one spread composed of three long, horizontal panels that show the girl growing older and taller each year while befriending a redheaded boy.
Eventually, years creep by with no summer visitors at all, and the cottage grows dilapidated. Then one glorious day, the girl—now a mother—returns with her daughter, her redheaded husband and her white-haired father. Times do indeed change, but readers will find reassurance in this reminder that traditions can endure, even as they are transformed and passed on to new generations.