O is for Oystercatcher.
A is for albacore…
B is for blue crab…
C is for cattail…
And all the way to Z, which is for zygoptera.

O is for Oystercatcher

A Book of Seaside ABCs

By Barbara Patrizzi

Beautiful art and enlightening text make this coastal primer a delight for children of all ages.

7.5" x 7.5"
55 pp., 25 illust.

ISBN 1-59322-008-1

A Primer for All of Us;
O Is For Oystercatcher,
A Book of Seaside ABCs

By Pat Johnson

Reprinted, with permission, from The SandPaper, Long Beach Island, NJ, 9/1/04.
Copyright © 2004 Jersey Shore Newsmagazines.

When you step onto the beach, are you the 90-IQ weakling who must fumble for knowledge of the seashore while that marine biologist on the next blanket gets all the babes or mimbos? Are you tired of being teased for such shore faux pas as running when a horseshoe crab crawls out of the bay?

Wish you could be more like your shore-savvy friends but don’t have a lifetime to spend poring over those boring field guides? Then O Is for Oystercatcher; A Book of Seaside ABCs by Barbara Patrizzi is the answer.

It’s a shore naturalist primer that’s perfect for the busy vacation. It can be read in bites, A,B,C today, C,D,F tomorrow and so on (we all know the ending). Just a few easy hours spent under the beach umbrella or waiting for the takeout order to be delivered and you’ll be full of fascinating facts about nature that you can happily drop during happy hour.

But seriously, O Is for Oystercatcher is fun to read and presented in a gorgeously illustrated format.

Artist and writer Barbara Patrizzi grew up in southern New Jersey and is committed to protecting the coast. By lovingly capturing the living world of the shore, she hopes to interest those who are only casually acquainted with it so they, too, might care enough to work to preserve it.

"We are never too young or too old to immerse ourselves in the natural world," she writes in her preface. "This book can help on many levels to introduce children and adults alike to some of the fascinating species that inhabit the coast. Hopefully readers will be inspired to get out and get their feet wet, explore the rich and varied wildlife in our coastal regions and try to make a difference."

Patrizzi is an accomplished artist who uses her gifts to advance environmental causes. Her work has been included in exhibitions in Anchorage, Alaska, that evolved around the Exxon-Valdez oil spill (1993); at Rutgers, Camden, in a show titled "Message from the Planet: Artists Work to Save the Earth" (1995); and "Undercurrents: Women Artists Focusing on the Beauty and Vulnerability of Aquatic Ecosystems" (1993) at the Noyes Museum of Art in Oceanville.

O Is for Oystercatcher’s format allowed Patrizzi to make 26 beautiful woodblock illustrations. E for Egret, F for Fluke and S for Seahorse are particularly beautiful, while children with a scientific bent will love hearing that Oystercatchers (shore birds with a bright orange bill for prying open shellfish) are able to see, walk and feed themselves within hours of hatching and that blue claw crabs, with their eyes at the end of stalks, have nearly 360-degree vision -– very useful when trying to avoid being pinched.

Although the book jacket says ages 4 and up will enjoy the book, any 4-year-old able to relate to U is for Univalve or Z is for Zygoptera needs a college fund right away, but the bright and bold graphics are certainly toddler friendly.

Patrizzi currently resides in Philadelphia and Somers Point, N.J., where she lives with her partner and various four-legged friends, and keeps busy swimming, kayaking and gardening. This is her first book.

Down The Shore Publishing, an independent publisher, always turns out beautifully designed books that are as much a joy to have and hold as they are to read. Their catalog specializes in mid-Atlantic and coastal subjects, local history and other books of local interest, and shore novels.

P.O. Box 3100, Harvey Cedars New Jersey 08008
email info@down-the-shore.com • fax (609) 597-0422

Copyright © 2004 Down The Shore Publishing Corp. The words "Down The Shore" and logo are a registered U.S. Trademark.