and the reading is easy! Beat the heat and venture into the pages
of a cool book.
BOOK: AGES 6 THRU 8
by W. Nikola-Lisa. Illustrated by Don Tate. (Lee and Low, unpaged,
$16.95). As the morning sun rises, an African-American boy begins
his routine day on the family farm. In simple, handmade typeface,
these rhymes are as comforting and lulling as a lovely summer
day: "Bee in the hive/ fruit on the trees./ Summer sunís
stirrin'/ a summertime breeze."
Pie Fourth of July by Janet Wong. Illustrated by Margaret
Chodos-Irvine. (Harcourt, unpaged, $16.00). Do Americans eat chinese
food on the Fourth of July? A Chinese-American girl is plagued
with the anxiety that customers won't be ordering chow mein or
any other dish on this most American of celebrations. How can
her parents be so naive as to open shop for business? A child's
fear about cultural differences is rendered with cheerful and
bright illustrations as spirited as the holiday.
AGES 8 THRU 10
by Tony Johnson. Illustrated by Barry Moser. (Harcourt, 32 pp.,
$16.00). The freedom of school ending and the start of blissful
summer is harrowingly short-lived when the Fourth of July finds
Joey suddenly terminally ill. His brother narrates this story
of loss with heartbreaking simplicity. Moser's artwork respectfully
reflects the moments of sorrow. As his dedication reads: "For
all the courageous people who care for terminally ill children..."
AGES 8 THRU 12
Douglas Florian. (Greenwillow, 48 pp., $15.89). Simple rhyming
verses capture the essence of summer and all its fun-filled activities
from jump-roping to baseball. Clever wordplay adds humor and lighthearted
zest to this most carefree of seasons: "June: We seeded/
July: We weeded/ August: We eated." Watery colors drench
the pages with a palette of blues, yellows, oranges and greens.
S. Vasquez is a media specialist at Orange Brook Elementary School
in Hollywood, Florida. She is formerly a children's librarian
for the New York Public Library.
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