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LUCY'S SUMMER by Donald Hall


by Donald Hall & illustrated by Michael McCurdy

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: April 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-15-276873-4
Publisher: Harcourt

 If a good picture book is like a good poem, where every word counts, then there isn't a word misplaced in this lyrical book about summer on a New Hampshire farm in 1910. Lucy is seven when her mother opens a millinery shop in the front parlor. She and her sister delight in the ribbons, fruits, and feathers that their mother stocks. During the summer, they travel by horse and wagon to sell hats, accept winter hats to be spruced up, help with staggering amounts of canning, attend a small-town Fourth of July celebration, have their portrait taken by an itinerant photographer. Best of all, Lucy accompanies her mother on a trip to Boston to buy hat supplies. As he did in Lucy's Christmas (1994), Hall has a way of describing a scene in toto and then zooming in on a specific detail. He wraps up a roadside meal succinctly: ``The picnic ended with a custard pie.'' McCurdy's exquisite scratchboard illustrations are animated and detailed; dark backgrounds with finely etched white lines set off clear glowing colors wherever the summer light shines. The book is a best bet--conjuring another time and place with eloquence, humor, and grace. (Picture book. 5-8)