Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Summer Visitors

The Summer Visitors

Karel Hayes
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Down East Books, 2011   ISBN: 978-0892729180

It is early summer, and the summer visitors are returning to the cabin by the lake. Busily they take their belongings into the cabin, and just as busily their remaining bags, boxes, and packages are being examined by a family of bears outside. In fact, the bears are so taken with some of the things that they find that they carry them off. Later, the human family members sit by the lake under an umbrella enjoying their first day by the water, and around the corner the members of the bear family are having a little picnic and using the things that they ‘borrowed’ from the summer visitors.

Similarly, after the human family goes sailing during the day, the bear family members borrow the boat, bathing suits, and life vests and go sailing by the light of the moon. Though the summer visitors notice that some odd things are going on, they never understand why a pie and a cake go missing, why their bathing suits are stretched, and why their boat’s sail is all rumpled in the morning.

This book with its minimal text tells a charming story about a family of bears who like the comforts of life but who are determined to keep their presence a secret. Children are sure to laugh out loud when they see what the bears get up to.