It's summertime, and if you're a kid, the living can be very easy indeed. Douglas Florian's ode to the simmering, shimmering, sizzling, fizzling, flaming season of sun places every reader smack dab in the middle of a summer day (or night), with all its resident fireflies, cartwheels, green frogs, and sidewalk scooters. This companion volume to Florian's award-winning Winter Eyes
celebrates summer with 48 short poems and accompanying watercolor and colored pencil illustrations. In "Bees," a child pithily reports:
I'm pleased by bees
Except for one thing:
Against a brilliant yellow green grassy background, a redheaded boy sits placidly reading inside mosquito netting, half a dozen bees buzzing longingly nearby. Swarming with humor and honesty about barefoot days, humid nights, and those "Three words / Most cruel: / Back to school," this bright collection by the talented author-illustrator of Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs
will demand year-round attention. (Ages 5 and older) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
From the playful initial poems What I Love About Summer and What I Hate About Summer to the final contemplation of a future snowy day, Florian's companion volume to Winter Eyes overflows with inventive verses celebrating the delights and discontents of summer. Like chalk drawings on a hot sidewalk, the green and sunny watercolor-and-pencil illustrations capture The Sum of Summer including four fillion flies And five sillion fleas And uncounted numbers Of sweet memories, and concrete poems such as Summersaults and Double Dutch Girls cleverly mirror their subject matter. Florian's child-like paintings show ordinary pleasures, like skateboarding and eating watermelon, as well as more fanciful images of a girl swinging to the stars or being carried away by a giant mosquito. Florian's poems are often simple, rhythmic lists with an ending twist, as in Greenager: Green grass. Green trees. Grasshoppers With green knees ... Summer's green Wall to wall. Occasionally the poet's couplets scramble syntax (As mosquitos buzz your ear, Green cicadas you may hear) or his images strain to fit the rhyme more than the meaning (The dande-lion doesn't roar. It's quiet as a closet door). Over all, however, the poems are rhythmic, imaginative and packed like a cottage trunk with the long beach days and campfire nights of summer. Ages 5-up.
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