Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Lazy Days of Summer

Lazy Days of Summer

Judy Young
Illustrator:  Kathy O'Malley 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 10
Sleeping Bear Press, 2007   ISBN: 978-1585362417

When school is finally over for the year and the long summer vacation arrives children are free to do as they wish, to play for as long as they like. And yet all too often children are heard to say "What should we do now"? Well, in this book they will be able to read about just a few of the things that they can do during "the lazy days of summer," for this book describes games, all kinds of games, many of which are familiar old favorites.

The author begins by looking at the game of jumping rope. Did you know that jumping rope used to be an exclusively boys game and that girls were discouraged from playing the game because it was considered "too strenuous" for girls? And what about hopscotch? This tame sidewalk and playground game was once favored by Roman soldiers though they played with many more squares than we do today. Jacks too is an ancient game going back to the ancient Greeks and Romans and marbles have been around for three thousand years.

For each of the twelve games described in this book the author begins by introducing the game with an opening rhyme. Beneath this she has a "Did you know"? section which describes the history of the game, trivia about the game, tips on how to play it, and much more. Lively illustrations showing children at play provide a colorful backdrop for the text.

Packed with interesting facts, this excellent book is sure to encourage children and the grown ups in their lives to get out of the house and into the open air to play some of these wonderful games which have stood the test of time for so long and which have given generations of people so much pleasure.