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June 09, 1996|CHARLES SOLOMON

NOTES FROM THE SHORE by Jennifer Ackerman, illustrated by Karin Grosz (Penguin: $11.95; 190 pp.). In this unpretentious collection of essays, Ackerman takes the reader on a series of walks around Cape Henlopen, a curving lip of sand at the mouth of Delaware Bay. She examines many of the animals and plants she finds on her strolls but is more interested in the continuous resculpting of the landforms by wind and water: "If you could sit stock still and watch with a remembering eye, the forms of the beach would become momentary shapes like the shifting flame of a fire." Although she describes a specific landscape and its fauna, the lessons of this reflective book can be applied to any coast.

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