Summers can't last forever,"" says Daddy--and that remark, at once blunt and penetrating, is characteristic of this exception among easy-readers, a book about a child in natural circumstances that has real emotional weight. Chapter by chapter, the facets of the nameless narrator's summer at the beach snap into place. The ocean, seemingly so close at night, is seen in the daytime to stay on the beach, ""where it's supposed to."" Across the street lives a lady named Loretta; ""She never got married even when she was young,"" we're told without elaboration. The two sit on her porch, rocking and talking, just like--we see overleaf--Loretta and her sister once did, throwing peach pits in the sand; there's a peach tree there now: ""I think it must feel good to know a tree for such a long time."" In other chapters, her father comes from the city ""in a suit"" and helps her plant pansies; she plays with Peggy Ann who ""has an Aunt Ella who always thinks of something that Peggy has to do before she can go out and play."" Then, after a final salute to the beach, it's time to go back to the city, to forgotten noises and fresh longing--which is when daddy says, ""Summers can't last forever."" The pictures are in keeping with the spare, suggestive text in that they're renderings that carry their own weight--images, that is, not shorthand illustrations. Children who read this for themselves will have a foretaste of what reading means not as a skill or a pastime but as total involvement.