Linda Ashman

children's book author, mom, wife, writing instructor, animal lover, gardener, vegetarian . . .





"Rhyming text and bouncy and boldly colored illustrations in acrylic on watercolor paper capture the frenzy surrounding this hilarious, truly not-to-be-undone, fiercely determined to have a good time family. A rip-roaring fun read-aloud." School Library Journal

"What kid, or parent, won't identify with this tale of woe? Westcott's art ably captures the gathering frenzy, the unraveling of every nerve fiber. But Ashman's verse is so light of foot, readers will laugh rather than wince." Kirkus

"As bright as a box of Popsicles, this sunny picture book puts a lighthearted spin on a day of family chaos. The short, rhyming text scans with an easy bouncing beat as it maintains the story's stop-and-go tension. Pair this perfect warm-weather read-aloud with Phyllis Root's Rattletrap Car, another story of a family outing gone hilariously awry." Booklist

"The harried but happy family in Linda Ashman's TO THE BEACH! leaves behind some seashore essentials and must backtrack home . . . and then again . . . and again. This gentle satire of an outing gone awry doesn't forget to pack the laughs, though. And the surprise ending is sure to bring a smile." Family Fun Magazine

"Linda Ashman's new book, TO THE BEACH!, is a humorous story sure to resonate with anyone who's ever tried to get a family out the door for a big outing. No sooner have parents and kids piled in the car for the beach than they begin remembering what's been forgotten: dog, ducky pail, beach umbrella, kite, ball and cooler -- and, whew, the list goes on! The liveliness of the text is perfectly matched by Nadine Bernard Westcott's vivacious artwork." Children's BookPage

"TO THE BEACH is a very funny rhyming text that will have you laughing out loud by the end of the story. The hilarious and artfully drawn illustrations, by Nadine Bernard Westcott, go along perfectly with the story. This is a most fun read-aloud." Meridian Magazine

Find Authors


View it on Google Books here.

From TO THE BEACH! Illustrations copyright 2005 by Nadine Bernard Westcott. With permission of Harcourt.

Author's Note

The car is packed.
We're on our way.
We're going to the beach today.

A block away, Kate starts to moan.
"We can't leave Fido home alone!"

Turn around, find Fido fast.
He's curled up, sleeping, in the grass.

The sun is bright. We squint our eyes.
"The beach umbrella!" Mama cries.

It's with the tote bag, in the den.
Grab them both and start again.

I often find myself getting in the car and realizing I left my keys (sunglasses, purse, library books -- you name it) in the house. And that's just with one child. So I started wondering what it might be like to try to get somewhere when you have LOTS of kids.

I chose to make that "somewhere" the beach because -- having spent most of my life in New Jersey and California -- I've made many similar trips, lugging (and forgetting) all sorts of beach paraphernalia.

I am delighted that my editor for this book, Karrie Oswald, thought of Nadine Bernard Westcott for the illustrations. I can't imagine a better choice. I love Nadine's vibrant colors, the wonderful expressions and details she includes, and her fabulous sense of humor -- be sure to keep an eye on that flamingo!

Teaching Themes: the beach, travel, family, forgetfulness, humor, and rhyme. For additional resources visit: Weekly Reader's Let's Go to the Seashore, National Geographic's Taking Care of Our Oceans unit, and Surfrider Foundation's Respect the Beach program, and download other ideas here:


Brand New
"A go-to source of calm and comfort." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
In Print
"Altogether delightful." Starred review, KIRKUS
"Excellent advice in a sweet and easy-to-swallow package." KIRKUS
"A memorable first skate by an irresistible imp." Starred review, KIRKUS
"Ashman's concept is both sophisticated and delightful." KIRKUS
"Beautifully crafted and satisfying." Starred Review, BOOKLIST
"Kids will love the colorful paintings while parents will appreciate that it's chock full of facts about the Centennial State." VAIL DAILY
A "lovely reverie on the joys of being alive and being loved." Starred Review, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"As pithy and clever as Ogden Nash at his best." Starred Review, KIRKUS
"A splendid bedtime fantasy." KIRKUS
Other Titles
"Ashman's poetic portraits are packed with lots of tasty assonance and alliteration." Starred Review, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"Quirky, sarcastic, and rather educational, too." BOOKLIST
"A 10 on the "aw"-inspiring scale." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"A family outing gone hilariously awry." BOOKLIST
"A rip-roaring, exciting excursion." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
An "enchanting ride." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"The clever, rhyming text bounces along with perfect cadence." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"A riotous adventure." HORN BOOK MAGAZINE
"Vibrant, playful text . . . excellent for storytimes." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"A hilarious look at the world through the sharp eyes and nose of a dog." SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE
"This one's a keeper." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"Youngsters will find nothing but comfort in these pages." KIRKUS
"Ashman captures the non-stop action in rollicking rhyme." KIRKUS
A "captivating collaboration." Starred Review, KIRKUS
"A lighthearted look at bad behavior." KIRKUS
Wagmore is "a charming, gentle hero." KIRKUS REVIEWS