SUMMER BUSINESS by Charles E. Martin


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The small fry of Martin's Island Winter find one and another way to earn money from summer's tourist influx. Structurally, the book is something of a shambles--but the cheerily comic pictures (somewhere between Syd Hoff and James Stevenson), and the many diverting doings, will be sufficient reward for most. The children set up a flea market. (Sam's mother refuses to give up her doll, his grandfather reclaims an old Tuna Tournament prize.) They paint rocks and shells. (On one rock Lulu paints a picture of Hamilton.) They sell cakes and lemonade. They're dog-walkers and dog-sitters. They have good days and bad days, and an occasional disaster: e.g., a heavy shower washes the paint off the shells and rocks. Hamilton recoups by taking visitors to see Indian rock drawings. A cat is lost and found. Then, come September and the tourists' departure, they go to ""the Harvest Fair, on the mainland,"" with the summer's earnings. The last remaining money buys ice cream cones. This is almost non-writing (""They saw a horse race. They entered and lost in the three-legged race. They won prizes. They bought things""); and it's barely sequential But it's preferable, at any rate, to fancy meaninglessness. And the island kids' hum of activity will be the envy of less fortunately situated young entrepreneurs.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1984
Publisher: Greenwillow