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MAMA, IS IT SUMMER YET? by Nikki McClure Kirkus Star


by Nikki McClure & illustrated by Nikki McClure

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: May 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8109-8468-4
Publisher: Abrams

A boy asks again and again, “Is it summer yet?” Rather than giving him a simple “No,” his mother points to encouraging changes that signify summer’s imminent arrival: the earth softening, buds appearing, apple blossoms blooming. McClure’s intricate cut-paper illustrations compel rapt readers to examine the artwork thoroughly, looking for tiny signs of seasonal shifts in a woodsy world of seeds, squirrels, swallows and ducks. Black-and-white reliefs capture tender mother-son outdoor activities and offer isolated instances of color (pink petals, yellow duck bills) that quicken readers’ eyes, alerting them to progress. Still the boy wonders, “Is it summer yet?” Mama always replies, “Not yet, my love,” and softens his disappointment by reasserting her constant affection. This repeated exchange occurs throughout, allowing readers to fully appreciate both the boy’s prolonged, wistful yearning and the mother’s unflagging love. This gentle call and response between child and parent will lull young listeners and remind them of their own connections to caregivers. When summer finally explodes, bringing juicy berries and abundant sunshine, mother and boy luxuriate in a baby pool, glad to have made the journey together. (Picture book. 2-6)