Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Friday, June 28, 2019

Sensing A Season

Today marks the passage of one full week of summer.  Even while celebrating the longest day of the year, the additional sunlight, warmth, abundance of wildlife and vacation adventures, our days are starting to get shorter.  We've lost nearly a full minute of daylight in these seven days. 

With the time lessening each day, there is only one thing to do.  We need to make the most of this season.  Super Summer: All Kinds Of Summer Facts And Fun (Henry Holt And Company, May 7, 2019) written by Bruce Goldstone with some of his photographic images, too, is a guide to enjoying every marvelous moment. 


In summer there's plenty
of sun and plenty of fun.

Fields are filled with plenty of 
flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

Animals have no trouble finding
plenty of food.

Although we rarely think about it, summer means we are crossing off days on the calendar toward the autumnal equinox.  On this day, twelve hours of twenty-four are given to day and to night. Until then more heat from the sun means we need to protect our eyes and skin and stay cool.  Drinking plenty of water is one solution.  Animals can help to cool themselves by panting, shedding unnecessary fur, hiding in cooler areas in their habitats or even by practicing estivation.  This state of dormancy offers protection during extended heat and lack of rain.

In thinking about summer, how does it feel to you?  How does it touch you?  How do you touch it?  Gardeners tend to brilliant-colored annuals and perennials.  These flowers are sheer pleasure for pollinators who drink the nectar and help reproduction.  Sunflowers, before they're fully developed follow the sun from east to west. 

We enjoy a bounty of fruits and vegetables.  What is your favorite summer food?  Is it cool, sweet, spicy, sticky or juicy?  

Insects flourish in the summer.  It's a good idea to be aware of those that bite and sting.  Other critters are bright, nearly always in motion and have spectacular abilities; the chirping of crickets, the blinking of fireflies and the magical water striders.

As the narrative continues, we are challenged to point out different geometric shapes, listen for sounds more often heard in summer and to think where we would go on a dream vacation.  We are encouraged to participate in activities in the water, on land and in the air.  As the days pass into months, holidays are highlighted until we start thinking about school days and the falling leaves of fall.

When we read this chronicling of the summer season written by Bruce Goldstone his enthusiasm for opportunities is conveyed to readers.  It begins with his use of the word plenty.  There is more of everything in the summer. 

Within each two pages he starts with a single thought.  He supports this by following with several facts which might be a single sentence or a paragraph.  He moves easily from heat to cooling to our sensory perceptions, and then focusing on flora and fauna.  He asks us to be constant observers and doers.  Here is a passage.


Some plants follow the sun during the day.  This process
is called heliotropism.

Young sunflowers move their blossoms to face the sun as it
moves from east to west each day.  When a sunflower is 
growing, each side of its stem grows at different times.  . . .  

The lush yellows on the matching dust jacket and book case are sure to have readers wondering what treasures are to be found inside.  It is now when butterflies are seen at work among the flowers.  (This is currently prevalent in gardens and fields in northern Michigan.)  The other primary color of the title text like water in a pool or lake adds to the lure of summer.

To the left, on the back, summer scenes are placed like a frame around a beach scene.  The words


is tucked in the sky.  The first three title covers for the other seasons are placed in the sand.

A luminescent yellow colors the opening and closing endpapers.  The front of the jacket and case is repeated on the title page.  Throughout the book double-page photographs, in a variety of perspectives ask for our attention.  At times smaller images will be placed on these larger visuals.   The shift in point of view noted with the collage effect of the layout increases interest and exploration.  Shapes associated with summer will frame some of the pictures; sun with rays, waves, flowers, circles like bubbles, leaves, butterflies and postcards.  In addition to photographs taken by the author, visuals are used from Shutterstock and Adobe Stock.  Whenever possible children from diverse backgrounds are shown throughout this title.

One of my many favorite images is a collection on a large two-page picture of a sunny summer field.  On top of this on the left is a bright red flower with a Monarch butterfly on the petals.  To the right in circles readers are brought in close to see a labeled stamen and pistil on a flower and to see a group of honeybees working on another single flower.  

The fourth book in the series, Super Summer: All Kinds Of Summer Facts And Fun written by Bruce Goldstone with some of the photographs his own, is sure to inspire even more excitement for this season and increase an appreciation for all the possibilities.  As in the previous titles, Awesome Autumn: All Kinds Of Fall Facts And Fun, Wonderful Winter: All Kinds Of Winter Facts And Fun and Spectacular Spring: All Kinds Of Spring Facts And Fun, Bruce Goldstone closes with a series of crafts and activities along with instructions for their completion.  I highly recommend this title and this series for your professional and personal collections for the presentation of the information and images.  Readers are certain to be engaged.

To learn more about Bruce Goldstone and his other work, please access his website by following the link attached to his name.  At the publisher's website you can view several interior pages. 

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