Peer Review by squirrelwriter (United States)

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Hallie and the Big Blue Sea

By: NiLa

Hallie and the Big Blue Sea

This is Hallie. She loves the ocean. She has a little sister named Holly. Holly is too young to go into the water. 
(insert picture of a young girl smiling with freckles and blue eyes, strawberry blonde hair, with a pail and shovel in hand, next to her, a baby with similar features in a white play suit)

(page break)

Once Hallie and her family went on holiday to the seaside. Hallie was excited the whole drive there. 

When they were at the beach, Hallie breathed in the salty smell of the sea. She loved it!
(insert picture of back view of a 
girl staring out at the sea, pail and shovel on the ground near
her feet, a large blue sea ahead)

(page break)

Hallie walked along the beach collecting shells for her collection at home. She saw a pretty pink shell and thought- “What if I was a mermaid?”
 Hallie put the shells down and splashed into the water. 
( insert picture of same young
girl with a glimmering blue top and an iridescent blue-pink mermaid tail, sitting on a rock and splashing the water with her tail)

(page break)

But she soon realised that if she was a mermaid, she would live underwater and her family would still be on land. “Hmm...maybe not a mermaid” she thought. 

(page break)

Hallie walked back onto the sand and looked ahead. She saw big boat leaving the docks. 

Looking at the boat, she thought- “What if I was a
(insert image of same young girl dressed in sailor whites with a triangular sailor’s hat atop her head, standing near the rails of a large white ship called “The Hallie” in the ocean; in one hand, a telescope)

(page break)

She pretended to hold a telescope and look out to the water. But then she realised that she didn’t have a boat

“Hmm...maybe not a sailor then” she thought. 

(page break)

Hallie was walking back to her shells, when she saw a stick in the sand. She picked it up and waved it in the air! She thought-“What if I was a pirate?”
(insert image of same young girl on a wooden ship deck, dressed in cuffed light blue pants and a
white and purple striped shirt; a red bandanna around her neck, an eyepatch on one eye, and a tricorn pirate’s hat on her head; flying next to her, a large pink-
and-blue parrot)

(page break)

Hallie imagined herself aboard her own pirate ship, with a friendly parrot on her shoulder. 
But, she didn’t have a parrot friend. “Hmm...maybe not a pirate” she thought. 

Now Hallie was upset. She couldn’t be a pirate, a mermaid or a sailor. She picked up her
shells and turned to walk to where her parents were sitting
- when suddenly, she heard a splashing sound.

(page break) 

Her sister Holly was in the
water! She was too little to go into the water. Holly splashed about, excited, but then a big
wave came near her, and she was scared. 

(page break) 

Hallie was worried. Her parents were too far to see Holly. She dropped her shells and ran into the water and grabbed Holly, just as the wave was about to
splash them. 

Hallie and Holly sat on the sand as their parents came running towards them. They were worried about Holly, and so proud of Hallie for saving her!
(insert image of same young girl standing proudly in a white dress on a large rock, with the sea behind her) 

(page break)

That was when Hallie realised- she was brave like a pirate, fast like a mermaid, and smart like a sailor. But all she was....was herself!

So, just by being herself, Hallie saved the day!

Message to Readers

Any and all criticism is welcome!

Peer Review

The detailed illustration descriptions first drew me into the piece, and as I read through I was also interested in Hallie's vivid imaginings. I wondered if she was going to find a role she could be, and that question made me keep reading.

No; this story was easy to understand, and all the important information (who Hallie is, that she and her family are at the beach, and that Holly is too young to go in the water) was given in the first few pages.

The illustrations are already very detailed! You might want to add descriptions on the pages that don't have them right now (especially the last page) but I think what you've already included gives the reader a good idea of what kinds of illustrations would be with this story. I like how the illustrations tell the story without being too complex.

This is a really cute story, and with the illustrations, descriptions of Hallie's imagination, and good (but not forceful) message, I can definitely imagine this being a picture book someone would read to a child. All in all, I think the piece is already well done, and any suggestions I have are minor.

Reviewer Comments

Thanks for sharing this piece! I look forward to reading anything else you might post, and good luck with the competition!