cover image Those Summers

Those Summers

Aliki. HarperCollins, $14.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-06-024937-3

Told this vividly, tales of carefree childhood summers can warm the heart in any season. Children as well as parents will willingly accompany Aliki's (Mummies Made in Egypt; Christmas Tree Memories) animated narrator back in time as she shares her memories of seaside vacations in ""the big shady house we shared with our relatives."" Choosing emblematic details, the author evokes the beach's timeless diversions: the cousins stay in the water so long that ""our fingers puckered and our lips turned dark as blueberries""; they ""roll in the hot sand like fish cakes."" The energetic kids bound into the waves, but their cautious mothers ""tiptoed in as if the sea were made of broken glass."" Stylized pictures depict an exuberant extended family in constant motion. The golden-toned faces of children and adults alike are unusually expressive, whether conveying the thrill of being tossed by the surf or the benign terror of listening to the Shadow's voice cackle on an old-fashioned radio. An ebullient paean to summers by the sea. Ages 4-8. (June)