The magic of a summer in a small town, circa 1957. In related stories, Andy tells about the odd characters and events that fill his 12th summer in Berkeley Bend, including an imaginary elephant, a beautiful girl with a taste for blood, an old woman who can sometimes tell the future, a boy who communicates with animals, the millionaire, Dr. Moledinky, and many others. The second story, ""Old Ben, Pam Snow, and the Blood of Summer,"" is reminiscent of Ray Bradbury's ""Dandelion Wine,"" but with a sharper edge. In it, Hausman (Duppy Talk, 1994, not reviewed) beguiles readers with his tough-minded inventiveness and edgy wit, and entrances them with sheer artistry. A wondrous collection woven of comedy, gritty drama, and pungent imagination, stitched together with lyrical language that yields passages to be reread and shared.