using Harry By the Sea in speech therapy
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/h/ initial
/f/ initial
/m/ medial
/l/ medial
/r/ medial



Book Details:
Diverse Characters: N/A
Age Recommendation: Elementary

Harry By the Sea

By Gene Zion

When Harry goes on a visit to the beach, he is mistaken for a sea creature when a big wave covers him with seaweed. Harry also has to hunt for his family beneath all the similar beach umbrellas. Children will relate to Harry’s funny misadventures.

This irresistible summer and ocean book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like spending time with family. It is also great for noticing character expressions, targeting character analysis and perspective taking as well as for describing! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Harry By the Sea in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complex episode

Narrative Concepts:

character analysis​
illustration study​
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (linguistic verbs)
text features​
problem solving


order of events that lead to Harry getting lost
order of events that lead to Harry being found


seashore, shady, umbrella, crawled, chased, follow, annoyed, main, edge, seaweed, shriek, comfortable, serpent, attendants, slug, exclaimed, gasped

Character Analysis:

Harry loves going to the beach, but he does not like the hot sun. Today the sun is exceptionally hot, so Harry searches for shade, but is unsuccessful. He wanders far from his family as he searches for shade and then a wave comes and pulls him into the ocean. Harry becomes covered with seaweed, but now feels cool, so he goes on a search to find his family. The beach is crowded and everyone has the same umbrella, but Harry keeps looking. He is oblivious to the people thinking he’s a sea monster. He becomes very excited when he is finally reunited with his family.

The people on the beach think that Harry is another creature and treat him very differently than they do when they find out what he looks like underneath the seaweed.

The family chase Harry away at the beginning, only to realize that they are worried about him and search to find him. The family seems to care for Harry because the next time they go to the beach, the family brings a unique looking and huge umbrella. It provides shade for the whole family, including Harry. It is also easy for Harry to find, so hopefully he will not get lost on the beach again.


Harry wants to be included with his family at the beach.
How does Harry’s family show him that they care for him?

facial expressions
feelings (anger, relief, fear, excited)
perspective taking


verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (linguistic verbs)

Text Features:


Problem Solving:

Harry does not like the hot sun and searches for shade to cool off. He finally becomes cool when a big wave comes.

Harry becomes lost on a crowded beach. He is finally found by his family at a hot. dog stand.

The crowd on the beach is scared of Harry because they think he is a sea monster. The crowd finally realizes that he is a dog when Harry jumps for joy and the seaweed falls off.

If you are interested in seeing other summer books to use in therapy, then check out the Seasonal Narrative Teaching Points Book List for a printable copy.

Check out our 23 minute podcast episode, Our Favorite Beach-Themed Picture Books in Speech Therapy for more ideas on Harry By the Sea and other beach-themed books!