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SUMMER BEAT by Betsy Franco


by Betsy Franco & illustrated by Charlotte Middleton

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: May 22nd, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-4169-1237-8
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Poet and anthologist Franco combines rhyming couplets with alliterative sound effects and dialogue in an energetic tribute to the sensations of summer. In what seems like a typically fun summer day, best buds Em and Joe skateboard (“Clackity-clack”), run through the sprinkler (“Shhh shhh”), spit out watermelon seeds (“fwit, fwit”) and toss water balloons (“Whoosh pumf”). But as revealed in the surprising climax, it’s actually a special day—the Fourth of July—replete with hillside fireworks at night. Middleton’s double-page mixed-media spreads have a freshness that matches this singular time of year, with crisp colors, softly outlined figures and unifying patterns. The girl’s golden braids are repeated as corn-on-the cob kernels, a hammock rope, a rope swing and the finish line for the three-legged race. This sunny enterprise is capped off with nice, non-linear design that features varied type fonts and the creative placement of words on the big pages. (Picture book. 4-7)