Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Summertime Song

I know a beautiful picture book that is great fun to read aloud. I often remember to take it from the shelf on a summer evening because the title is "A Summertime Song". The story and pictures are by Irene Haas and it was published in 1997 by McElderry Books, New York. (pronounced MAC ull derry) 

The pictures are very elaborate which can make it a little difficult for the really young; but a little patience, explanation and exploring can bring the magic out for even the youngest listener. That is the case because the story is wonderfully direct. It is also very clever--with several great surprises! Adults will immediately be drawn to the intricacy of the images. 

The story opens with:

One warm summer night
Lucy opened her window
and in jumped a frog.

The frog gave Lucy an invitation to a birthday party
and a magic paper party hat to wear.
Then he jumped out again
into the garden.

Lucy put on the magic hat.
She went outside.
A finger of moonlight touched the hat and
Lucy was as little as a leaf.
Bugs and beetles all around were big as puppies,
and her grandma's lighted window
seemed as high up as the sky.

The grandmother, who has a cameo appearance in the story, helps add to a very sweet ending and helps make the story even better for older folks to share with the young.

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