20 AUGUST 1954, Page 29

The Pebbles on the Beach. By Clarence Ellis. (Faber. 12s.

6d.) Seashore. By Marie Neurath. ':(Parrish. 6s.)

MR. CLARENCE ELLIS has solved that difficult problem of what to do at the seaside when the weather is against sun-bathing: collect pebbles. Mr. Ellis's research into this ancient pastime is in effect an enrolment form for all enthusiasts, and will doubtless turn many desultory pebble-sorters into pebble- collectors. The equipment required, apart from a geological map, is fascinating: one knife, one hammer ('if you crash one stone against another you risk the loss of an eye'), one pocket lens and one sharp-edged piece

of flint. The pebble business is most exciting; enthusiasm is the chief asset, par- ticularly if Mr. Ellis's paraphrased geological lessons cannot be absolutely mastered. A pebble-hunting family could be most united and happy for hours, and all geological dis- agreements can go to the hammer. Young members of the family whose interest in pebbles might stray will profit from a study of Miss Marie Neurath's charming illus- trated volume, which most delightfully instructs on a variety of weird and wonderful things like the hermit crab who shares his house with a friend and the father who carries his young in a pouch. Mr. Ellis,and Miss Neurath are ideal seaside companions and arc recommended to all families about to pack bucket and spade.

K. D.