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Sandy Feet! Whose Feet?: Footprints at the Shore


When a family spends a day at the beach, the children investigate various footprints to see what type of creatures live along the shoreline. Rhyming text turns a sandy beach into an outdoor classroom. The tracks and habits of local wildlife, including hopping sandpipers, scuttling crabs, and burrowing turtles, are identified and explained for young ecology detectives. Even Daddy's feet make an appearance! And at day's end, it's time for tired feet to make their way home. STEM-based back matter includes information on how clues like footprints can identify the type of wildlife inhabiting any given habitat.




  • Suggested Interest Level: Age 5 - Age 8
  • Suggested Reading Level: Grade 1
  • Accelerated Reader® Quiz: Pending

BISAC Subjects


Kirkus Reviews - Sandy Feet! Whose Feet?: Footprints at the Shore

A family spends a day at the beach observing various creatures’ prints in the sand. Children and families of various skin tones and hair textures play on the beach as the main characters, a mother and father, a boy and a girl, all with brown skin, arrive, the children running toward the water. In spare, mostly rhyming verses, the text introduces “sandy feet” and “digging feet” and “wading feet” alongside small creatures as the children encounter them on the beach. A wet dog, a sandpiper, a scuttling crab, a sea gull. Each full-bleed illustration features motion—spraying water and creatures in action, with hints on each spread of the creature to be featured on the next. As the sun goes down, the family packs up and walks away from the water, tired out. The final spread shows a collection of prints featured throughout the book. Endnotes encourage readers to be “ecology detectives” and observe prints in nature, then provide information about the animals in the book. The calming beach colors create nostalgia for beach lovers, and the changing perspective of each spread adds interest for the duration of the book. More substantive than some beach-themed books, this one is engaging enough and notable due to the spotlight on brown children.


Author: Susan Wood

Susan Wood lives in coastal Virginia, where the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean meet. A random license plate she saw one day inspired this book. It read SNDY FT and got Susan thinking of her children’s sandy feet after fun family visits to the beach, plus all the other types of “feet”—paws, claws, flippers, and more—that can be found at the shore. Susan is an award-winning author of books for young readers, including Holy Squawkamole! Little Red Hen Makes Guacamole; The Skydiving Beavers: A True Tale; American Gothic: The Life of Grant Wood; and Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist. Learn more about Susan at

Illustrator: Steliyana Doneva

Steliyana Doneva is a children’s book illustrator living in Sofia, Bulgaria. Her love of painting and drawing started in early childhood. Steliyana studied applied arts in Sofia, specializing in children’s toys. Then she graduated with a degree in graphic arts, where she found her love for children’s book illustration. Steliyana is very happy to be an illustrator for children’s books. By doing this she is immersed in a beautiful fairy-tale world where the soul can fly without restraint. She also illustrated An Extraordinary Ordinary Moth, written by Karlin Gray.