SUMMER by Cao Wenxuan
Kirkus Star

SUMMER

by ; illustrated by ; translated by ; adapted by
Age Range: 3 - 6
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

In the spirit of Aesop, the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen winner weaves an animal fable set in the grasslands.

Seven creatures are desperate for relief from the sweltering sun. After they argue and vie for a spot under the single tree, the elephant muscles his way underneath. The sight of the giant trying to cool off under several tiny leaves is so hilarious the animals burst into laughter. Their attention is diverted by the sight of a child walking by in his father’s shadow. In a brilliant design feature, the next six pages are cut to gradually increase in width, moving from 3 ½ inches to 10 inches, as each creature, starting with the lynx, crosses the gutter to offer shade to smaller beings. Yu cleverly contrasts a lineup of wilting figures rendered in pencil on the verso with smiling, colorful, cut-paper versions on subsequent rectos. Before the page turns, viewers can spot a silhouetted portion of the next animal’s shadow, setting up a guessing game. Ultimately, a natural solution offers coolness for all. Touches of internal rhyme, alliteration, foreshadowing, and descriptive specificity elevate the telling: “Hens doze in the dusty shade of haystacks, and the melon farmer fans himself, under a canopy.” As in fables of yesteryear, Cao holds a mirror to selfishness as well as to an individual’s ability to transcend that tendency.

Children will return often to enjoy the interactive opportunities and the harmony that prevails. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 7th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-250-31006-4
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Imprint
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2019




MORE BY CAO WENXUAN

ChildrenFEATHER by Cao Wenxuan
by Cao Wenxuan
ChildrenBRONZE AND SUNFLOWER by Cao Wenxuan
by Cao Wenxuan

MORE BY YU RONG

ChildrenFREE AS A CLOUD by Bai Bing
by Bai Bing
ChildrenSNOWFLAKE IN MY POCKET by Rachel Bright
by Rachel Bright
ChildrenA LOVELY DAY FOR AMELIA GOOSE by Yu Rong
by Yu Rong

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE BIG UMBRELLA by Amy June Bates
by Amy June Bates
ChildrenSEVEN BLIND MICE by Ed Young
by Ed Young