cover image Lucy's Summer

Lucy's Summer

Donald Hall. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $15 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-15-276873-7

Hall and McCurdy's second book about the author's mother's New Hampshire childhood (following Lucy's Christmas) presents itself like a turn-of-the century magic-lantern show, filled with lovingly chronicled moments. Their nostalgic evocations focus on Lucy during the summer of 1910, when ``her mother turned the front parlor into a millinery shop''; when she and her sister help preserve food for the winter (the peas alone fill ``ten quarts and twenty pints!''); when Lucy rides the Peanut express to Boston. Hall recreates Lucy's sense of awe with his elegant yet homey imagery: the branches of a willow tree ``sweep to the ground like a lady's skirt''; peas ``clatter into the bottom of the kettle like hail pounding on the roof.'' Perfectly suited to the poetic text, McCurdy's captivating, finely etched scratchboard illustrations include such period touches as horse-drawn wagons and porcelain dolls' faces. There is little plot here, but the fond recollections of each vignette resonate with certain charm. Ages 5-8. (Apr.)