Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Summer Beat

Summer Beat

Betsy Franco
Illustrator:  Charlotte Middleton 
Picture Book
For ages 3 to 5
Simon and Schuster, 2007   ISBN: 978-1416912378

A little girl is riding on a skateboard down the sidewalk listening to the sounds of the skateboard wheels going “clackity-clack.” She is going to Joe’s house and as she rolls into his yard Rusty the dog greets her with lots of “wuf, wuf woooooof” sounds. Soon the two children are playing in the sprinkler and then they take their ease gently swaying in the hammock and listening to the “rustle, rustle” of the leaves moving in the breeze.

Later the children have to run for cover when it begins to drizzle and raindrops “fizzle fizzle” on the coals of the grill where hamburgers and corn on the cobs are cooking. Then, much later, as the light in the sky begins to fade, there are the explosions of fireworks in the sky. The children lie back on the grass to watch, delighted with all that they see and hear.

This is a wonderful celebration of the sounds of summer, and the joys of being a child during the summer months. Spitting watermelon seeds, sleeping in a tree house, riding bikes and skateboards – these and many other wonderful pastimes are celebrated on these pages complete with their summer sounds. A simple text with lots of sound words makes this the perfect book to share with little people who have spent a long day out of doors in the sun and fresh air.