Sun Dance, Water Dance, London's poetry recreated an idyllic summer day. This time, he celebrates the summer evenings of childhood, as a boy enumerates a c"/>

WHEN THE FIREFLIES COME

Jonathan London, Author, Terry Widener, Illustrator, Teri Weidner, Illustrator , illus. by Terry Widener. Dutton $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-45404-5

In Sun Dance, Water Dance, London's poetry recreated an idyllic summer day. This time, he celebrates the summer evenings of childhood, as a boy enumerates a cluster of images: "The screen doors slam. Slam-bang. Slam-bang. Outside, the smell of summer. The smell of fresh-picked corn, barbecued hot dogs and burgers in the air." Although the narrative unfolds in prose, a poetic flavor remains. From the backyard aromas to the "Brahnk! Brahnk! " of bullfrogs to backs itchy from rolling in the grass, the text appeals to all five senses. Each line evokes season favorites, such as sticky-handed encounters with the ice-cream man and baseball games that stretch into dusk, when "our shadows are long; they run and jump with us." The story winds down with the capture and release of fireflies and a bittersweet bedtime musing: "Summer is almost over. Sometimes it seems like the days come and go like the light of the fireflies." Widener (If the Shoe Fits) enhances the magical ambience with scenes that gradually darken until only the glow of fireflies and moonlight illumines the children's long-limbed bodies. With perpetual smiles, the simply featured children are always in motion, as if they are literally jumping for joy. Ages 4-8. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/28/2003
Release date: 05/01/2003
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