This is known as the 'beach book' in our house and it's our collective introduction to the magical world of Thomas Docherty.
The story begins with a little boy staring out his window at a rainy day. From there our little friend takes you on a series of wild imaginary rides by air, sea and land to finally reach a wondrous beach with a camel as a playmate. And when it's time to come home there's an equally exciting return journey and a promise of more adventure to come. E happily settles in to read this book with me, turning the pages in a bit of a frenzy while shouting joyously as he encounters so many of his favorite things: airplanes, tractors, boats, monkeys, helicopters, bicycles... it can get rowdy by the final page.
The text is simple and the action is in the illustrations. I think this is what makes it exceptionally popular for the two year old in my life. I particularly like Docherty's technique for allowing each adventure to dovetail into the next by interweaving the illustrations. While you're in the air riding the helicopter you see a bicycle on the road below ... turn the page and suddenly you're zooming down the hill on the bike and there's a tractor in the distance. It's a pattern that's followed throughout the book and it encourages E to look closely at the illustrations and pick out the details.
Visit the author's website to see more of his magical offerings: www.thomasdocherty.co.uk.