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SUMMER SONG by Kevin Henkes Kirkus Star


by Kevin Henkes ; illustrated by Laura Dronzek

Pub Date: April 7th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-06-286613-4
Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Henkes and Dronzek evoke the sights, sounds, and joys of summer, completing their celebratory seasonal quartet.

Captivating poetic text begins like a stream of consciousness: “The Summer sun is a giant flower, / and the flowers are like little suns. / Little suns of all different colors.” Brilliantly woven together, these accessible and seemingly simple similes and metaphors form a vibrant and sophisticated ode to nature. Readers will drink in the delicious cool shade, feel the sweltering sun, and revel in the lush green garden. Henkes hears summer’s song everywhere—in the wind through the grass, the birds in the sky, and the oceans and lakes. Onomatopoeia fills the air with the sounds of bees and dragonflies, juxtaposed with the silence of the glowing firefly. Uncomplicated acrylic paintings done in a primary palette will appeal to young animal lovers. Deeply saturated blues and greens capture the essence of the season, Dronzek’s characteristically firm black outlines helping animals, flowers, birds, insects, and humans pop. A multiracial cast of kids tend pets, cool off in the sprinkler, play in the sand, and watch clouds. As the season wanes, there’s delicious anticipation for autumn’s change. This lovely read-aloud will be savored, just like a summer’s day.

Captures the magic of childhood summers, when colors are a song and a backyard can sing the wonders of the world.

(Picture book. 3-8)