Friday, May 17, 2019

Welcome in Summer with a Good Book -- "Summer" -- Its' Lyrical Text is a Great Introduction to Poetry for Younger Readers + Has Important Life Lessons (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Usually it is hard to be moved by a story from a children's book, especially a picture book.  But, when I sat down to read this book to my girls the other day, I found myself loving not only the lyrical text, but how the illustrations really helped to tell the story, which centers around animals learning the power of kindness and sharing.  

More about this book:

"Summer is a poetic, inspirational picture book about the power of kindness from two of China's most acclaimed creators—and children will discover a surprise as they turn the pages!

During a hot summer day in the grasslands, a group of animals race to claim the single spot of shade—under one tiny leaf that clings to a branch. The animals fight until they are inspired by an act of love to offer shade to one another.

Through lyrical text from Hans Christian Andersen Award winner Cao Wenxuan, the story comes alive with bright, delicate art from award-winning illustrator Yu Rong and provides a vivid introduction to animals. 

In the middle of the book, pages grow shorter and then longer to emphasize each selfless action and to remind children of the importance of sharing and being kind."

This book is perfect for young children, as it not only introduces them to different animals, but also teaches important life lessons, like the importance of friendship, sharing, helping others and being kind.  The illustrations in this new children's picture book are simple yet stunning.  I especially love the detailing of the horizons, mountaintops and even the fur/hair of the different animals.  My girls and I found ourselves lingering on each page to admire and take in all the illustrations, as we read "Summer."  Near the end of the book, the pages are shorter and then grow longer, in a fun scene extender.  This is done to show the selfless act of the lynx, to help keep the other animals shaded and cool from the hot summer sun.  I really enjoyed this feature in the book, and this is what was so moving, as you usually don't see books set up like this.  Kids will get to see visually the lesson of kindness and sharing, as they flip through the shorter to longer pages, and watch as the animals gather around the lynx in the shady spot.

We have only had this book for about a week, and have already read it a handful of times.  Whenever we got to the shade part, my girls really perk up and get excited for the pages, as they flip through to see the animals gather together to stay cool.  This is really a cute book that families should own, and share with their kids.

About the author and Illustrator:

Cao Wenxuan grew up in rural China and is now a professor of Chinese literature and children’s literature. He is the author of several celebrated books for young readers, including the novel Bronze and Sunflower, which received three starred reviews. His fluid, poetic prose depicts honest, sometimes raw, and often melancholy moments of life. He has also received significant recognition for his academic research and teaching in the field of children’s literature, and he was the first Chinese author to win the Hans Christian Andersen Author Award.
Yu Rong is an award-winning Chinese illustrator of children's picture books, including Tracks of a Panda by Nick Dowson. She is especially known for her use of cut paper in her artwork.
Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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