Hey friends! Today is my stop on the blog tour for Beach Beings by Jean and Jamie Illingworth and I am bringing you a guest post. Enjoy!
Beach Beings by Jean and Jamie Illingworth
Genre: Middle Grade
Published by: Nightingale Books
Release date: 29/07/2021
Where to find: Amazon
Summary: Beach Beings (or beachies as they call themselves) are very small and live unseen amongst the rock pools of our coastline. This story picks up where we last left siblings, Pebble and Shore, and follows their adventures with their new friends. As the young beachies navigate the joys and challenges of growing up and falling in love, they also face countless dangers, not only from their old enemies the Shell Clan but also from Huge Beings and the sea itself.
Beach Beings – Distant Shores
Writing for children there is a temptation to sugar coat everything and make the world seem a wonderful place. Whilst Beach Beings, or beachies as they call themselves, are imaginary*, the world they live in, and the perils they face are very real.
The books highlight the risks of living close to the sea, the daily struggle to survive and the danger from other beachie clans and other creatures, especially human beings (or Huge Beings as beachies call us).
The two main characters are teenage siblings Pebble and Shore, who at the start of the first Beach Beings book they are on their own, trying to survive after their parents were washed away.
It was important to me that the female protagonist, Shore, was a strong role model, feisty and brave, but at the same time warm and caring. Her brother Pebble (shown her with new friend Lorelie) is brave, funny and loyal and the bond between the two main characters is very strong, especially when they are separated in book two.
Towards the end of book one we meet other young beachies, Reef, Storm, Lorelie, Allura and mischievous twins Merpus and Jonah. In book two (Distant Shores) we get to know them all better as each get involved in their own adventures and we see how friendships and relationships develop as they all work together to survive and preserve their unique culture.
Perhaps the biggest character in the books is the sea itself, and we see its beauty and huge power, how it provides for the beachies, but also destroys. The books have a strong environmental message, and we see the damage Huge Beings have done to our oceans and to the creatures that live in and around them.
The Beach Beings books are fast moving adventures, and although thought provoking and a little scary at times, they are full of love and humour and the importance of friends and family.
* When I asked a class of 8 years old recently, over half claimed to have seen Beach Beings.
Mother and son Jean and Jamie Illingworth live in North Yorkshire with husband/father David John. Jean is a safety consultant and landscape photographer and Jamie an illustrator. They have had three children’s books published previously (the Danny Dragon series), but this is their first collaboration on a full-length children’s novel. They really enjoy working together, discussing characters and plot twists and details of the illustrations. Jean writes the story and then Jamie offers wacky suggestions that take the story in another direction. Jean attempts to describe the pictures in her head and Jamie then draws them far better than she ever imagined.