Monday, July 02, 2018

Celebrate High Summer! And Then Comes Summer by Tom Brenner

When the days stretch like a slow yawn,

And leaves and grasses sparkle with dew....

When schools everywhere are finally out and the solstice has just passed, when the flowers and trees are still fresh and flourishing, when it's hot enough for swimming but not yet too hot for a ball game, when the outside beckons with bright, breezy mornings and the approaching twilight promises the tinkly truck and popsicles and ice cream cones on the porch steps--those are the days kids yearn for and grownups recall with nostalgia.

Tom Brenner's And Then Comes Summer(Candlewick Press, 2017) captures the rapture of childhood's best days in lyrical language.

When daylight pushes back bedtimes,

And crickets click crick in the evening air,

Then play hide-and-seek until darkness wins.

Summer memories are sweet--parades with friends on the floats hung with bunting, picnics and swims at the lake, bike rides where pedaling fast keeps everyone cool--until they stop, lemonade stands with cups that are drained thirstily, the scent of new-mown grass and melting s'mores.... It's all there like an old home movie. What's not to love about high summer?

Brenner's joyous recounting of those days we wish would never end will make anyone long for summertime, and artist Jaime Kim manages to portray the spirit of summer with pages filled with comic acrylic illustrations that record many of those memorable scenes. Says Kirkus in their starred review, "Summer's smells, sounds, rhythms, and rituals--fantastic freeze-frames of fun--unspool luxuriantly in this tribute to the season."



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